Indexed on: 04 Oct '07Published on: 04 Oct '07Published in: Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care
Anemia is an underrecognized but characteristic feature of chronic kidney disease (CKD), associated with significant cardiovascular morbidity, hospitalization, and mortality. Since their inception nearly two decades ago, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) have revolutionized the care of patients with renal anemia, and their use has been associated with improved quality of life and reduced hospitalizations, inpatient costs, and mortality. Hemoglobin targets >/=13 g/dL have been linked with adverse events in recent randomized trials, raising concerns over the proper hemoglobin range for ESA treatment. This review appraises observational and randomized studies of the outcomes of erythropoietic treatment and offers recommendations for managing renal anemia in the primary care setting.