Treatment of Anemia With Darbepoetin Alfa in Heart Failure

William T. Abraham, Inder Anand, Marc Klapholz, Piotr Ponikowski, Debra Scarlata, Scott M. Wasserman, Dirk J. van Veldhuisen

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6 Scopus citations


Anemia is common in heart failure (HF) patients. A prespecified pooled analysis of 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies evaluated darbepoetin alfa (DA) in 475 anemic patients with HF (hemoglobin [Hb], 9.0-12.5 g/dL). DA was administered subcutaneously every 2 weeks and titrated to achieve and maintain a target Hb level of 14.0±1.0 g/dL. By week 27, mean (SD) Hb concentrations did not increase with placebo but increased with DA from 11.5 (0.7) to 13.3 (1.3) g/dL. Hazard ratios (HRs) for DA compared with placebo for all-cause death or first HF hospitalization (composite end point), all-cause death, and HF hospitalization by month 12 were 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44-1.03; P=067), 0.76 (95% CI, 0.39-1.48; P=419), and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.40-1.07; P=093), respectively. Incidence of adverse events was similar in both groups. In post hoc analyses, improvement in the composite end point was significantly associated with the mean Hb change from baseline (adjusted HR, 0.40; P=017) with DA treatment. There was no increased risk of all-cause mortality or first HF hospitalization with DA in patients with reduced renal function or elevated baseline B-type natriuretic peptide, a biomarker of worse HF. These results suggest that DA is well tolerated, corrects HF-associated anemia, and may have favorable effects on clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalCongestive Heart Failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2010


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