Myocardial disease, anemia, and erythrocyte-stimulating proteins in chronic kidney disease

Rob Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The combination of heart failure and chronic kidney disease (CKD) has received comparatively little attention in terms of clinical research versus investigations of each state individually. It has been known for over a decade that anemia, a cardinal feature of CKD, is associated with higher cardiovascular event rates in late-stage and end-stage renal disease. Although the biological mechanisms linking anemia, renal failure, and heart failure are incompletely understood, more prevalent anemia is consistent in patients with more severe heart failure and is associated with higher mortality rates. Impaired erythropoietin production and resistance to erythropoietin are major contributors to anemia in patients with heart failure. By targeting hemoglobin levels in anemic patients with CKD, through the use of recombinant erythropoietin (epoetin) therapy, it has been hoped that anemia, CKD, and heart failure outcomes can be improved. Darbepoetin alfa was engineered to contain more N-linked carbohydrate chains than erythropoietin, and has an approximately 3 times longer serum half-life. Several clinical trials have addressed the hypothesis that darbepoetin alfa can effectively treat renal anemia at dose frequencies of once per week, or less often, with positive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReviews in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Dec 14 2005


  • Anemia
  • Darbepoetin alfa
  • Epoetin
  • Erythropoietin


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