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Systematic review with meta analysis
Erythropoietin corrects anaemia and reduces the risk of blood transfusion in people with chronic kidney disease, but has uncertain effects on other patient-level outcomes
  1. David W Johnson
  1. University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Department of Nephrology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, 199 Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia; david.johnson2{at}

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Anaemia frequency and severity worsen with advancing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and are associated with quality-of-life (QOL) impairment, morbidity and mortality.1 Deficient renal erythropoietin production is a major cause and can be corrected by recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) administration.1 This may improve clinical outcomes, including delaying dialysis. Conversely, rhEPO therapy causes hypertension,2 thereby potentially accelerating CKD progression. This systematic review and meta-analysis examined rhEPO effects on clinical outcomes in anaemic, pre-dialysis CKD patients.


Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing rhEPO treatment with either placebo …

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  • Competing interests DWJ has previously received consultancy fees, research grants, speaker's honoraria and travel sponsorships from Amgen, Roche and Janssen-Cilag.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.