Erythropoietic response and outcomes in kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 09/2010; 363(12):1146-55. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1005109
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Non–placebo-controlled trials of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) comparing lower and higher hemoglobin targets in patients with chronic kidney disease indicate that targeting of a lower hemoglobin range may avoid ESA-associated risks. However, target-based strategies are confounded by each patient's individual hematopoietic response.
We assessed the relationship among the initial hemoglobin response to darbepoetin alfa after two weight-based doses, the hemoglobin level achieved after 4 weeks, the subsequent darbepoetin alfa dose, and outcomes in 1872 patients with chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus who were not receiving dialysis. We defined a poor initial response to darbepoetin alfa (which occurred in 471 patients) as the lowest quartile of percent change in hemoglobin level (<2%) after the first two standardized doses of the drug.
Patients who had a poor initial response to darbepoetin alfa had a lower average hemoglobin level at 12 weeks and during follow-up than did patients with a better hemoglobin response (a change in hemoglobin level ranging from 2 to 15% or more) (P<0.001 for both comparisons), despite receiving higher doses of darbepoetin alfa (median dose, 232 μg vs. 167 μg; P<0.001). Patients with a poor response, as compared with those with a better response, had higher rates of the composite cardiovascular end point (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09 to 1.59) or death (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.78).
A poor initial hematopoietic response to darbepoetin alfa was associated with an increased subsequent risk of death or cardiovascular events as doses were escalated to meet target hemoglobin levels. Although the mechanism of this differential effect is not known, these findings raise concern about current target-based strategies for treating anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. (Funded by Amgen; number, NCT00093015.)

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    ABSTRACT: The ultimate aim of biomedical research is to preserve health and improve patient outcomes. However, by a variety of measures, preservation of kidney health and patient outcomes in kidney disease are suboptimal. Severe acute kidney injury has been treated solely by renal replacement therapy for over 50 years and mortality still hovers at around 50%. Worldwide deaths from chronic kidney disease (CKD) increased by 80% in 20 years--one of the greatest increases among major causes of death. This dramatic data concur with huge advances in the cellular and molecular pathophysiology of kidney disease and its consequences. The gap appears to be the result of sequential roadblocks that impede an adequate flow from basic research to clinical development [translational research type 1 (T1), bench-to-bed and back] and from clinical development to clinical practice and widespread implementation (translational research T2) that supported by healthcare policy-making reaches all levels of society throughout the globe (sometimes called translational research T3). Thus, it is more than 10 years since the introduction of the last new-concept drug for CKD patients, cinacalcet; and 30 years since the introduction of reninangiotensin system (RAS) blockade, the current mainstay to prevent progression of CKD, illustrating the basic science-clinical practice disconnect. Roadblocks from clinical advances to widespread implementation, together with lag time-to-benefit may underlie the 20 years since the description of the antiproteinuric effect of RAS blockade to the observation of decreased age-adjusted incidence of endstage renal disease due to diabetic kidney disease. Only a correct understanding of the roadblocks in translational medicine and a full embracement of a translational research culture will spread the benefits of the biomedical revolution to its ultimate destinatary, the society.
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    ABSTRACT: Several erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are available for treating anaemia in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Their relative efficacy (preventing blood transfusions and reducing fatigue and breathlessness) and safety (mortality and cardiovascular events) are unclear due to the limited power of head-to-head studies. To compare the efficacy and safety of ESAs (epoetin alfa, epoetin beta, darbepoetin alfa, or methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta, and biosimilar ESAs, against each other, placebo, or no treatment) to treat anaemia in adults with CKD. We searched the Cochrane Renal Group's Specialised Register to 11 February 2014 through contact with the Trials' Search Co-ordinator using search terms relevant to this review. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that included a comparison of an ESA (epoetin alfa, epoetin beta, darbepoetin alfa, methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta, or biosimilar ESA) with another ESA, placebo or no treatment in adults with CKD and that reported prespecified patient-relevant outcomes were considered for inclusion. Two independent authors screened the search results and extracted data. Data synthesis was performed by random-effects pairwise meta-analysis and network meta-analysis. We assessed for heterogeneity and inconsistency within meta-analyses using standard techniques and planned subgroup and meta-regression to explore for sources of heterogeneity or inconsistency. We assessed our confidence in treatment estimates for the primary outcomes within network meta-analysis (preventing blood transfusions and all-cause mortality) according to adapted GRADE methodology as very low, low, moderate, or high. We identified 56 eligible studies involving 15,596 adults with CKD. Risks of bias in the included studies was generally high or unclear for more than half of studies in all of the risk of bias domains we assessed; no study was low risk for allocation concealment, blinding of outcome assessment and attrition from follow-up. In network analyses, there was moderate to low confidence that epoetin alfa (OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.59), epoetin beta (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.38), darbepoetin alfa (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.57), and methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.70) prevented blood transfusions compared to placebo. In very low quality evidence, biosimilar ESA therapy was possibly no better than placebo for preventing blood transfusions (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.47) with considerable imprecision in estimated effects. We could not discern whether all ESAs were similar or different in their effects on preventing blood transfusions and our confidence in the comparative effectiveness of different ESAs was generally very low. Similarly, the comparative effects of ESAs compared with another ESA, placebo or no treatment on all-cause mortality were imprecise.All proprietary ESAs increased the odds of hypertension compared to placebo (epoetin alfa OR 2.31, 95% CI 1.27 to 4.23; epoetin beta OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.23 to 5.39; darbepoetin alfa OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.21; methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta OR 1.96, 95% CI 0.98 to 3.92), while the effect of biosimilar ESAs on developing hypertension was less certain (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.47 to 2.99). Our confidence in the comparative effects of ESAs on hypertension was low due to considerable imprecision in treatment estimates. The comparative effects of all ESAs on cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and vascular access thrombosis were uncertain and network analyses for major cardiovascular events, end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), fatigue and breathlessness were not possible. Effects of ESAs on fatigue were described heterogeneously in the available studies in ways that were not useable for analyses. In the CKD setting, there is currently insufficient evidence to suggest the superiority of any ESA formulation based on available safety and efficacy data. Directly comparative data for the effectiveness of different ESA formulations based on patient-centred outcomes (such as quality of life, fatigue, and functional status) are sparse and poorly reported and current research studies are unable to inform care. All proprietary ESAs (epoetin alfa, epoetin beta, darbepoetin alfa, and methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta) prevent blood transfusions but information for biosimilar ESAs is less conclusive. Comparative treatment effects of different ESA formulations on other patient-important outcomes such as survival, MI, stroke, breathlessness and fatigue are very uncertain.For consumers, clinicians and funders, considerations such as drug cost and availability and preferences for dosing frequency might be considered as the basis for individualising anaemia care due to lack of data for comparative differences in clinical benefits and harms.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 12/2014; 12(12):CD010590. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD010590.pub2 · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Observational studies have demonstrated an association between anemia and adverse outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, randomized trials failed to identify a benefit of higher hemoglobin concentrations, suggesting that the anemia-outcome association may be confounded by unknown factors. We evaluated the influence of fluid status on hemoglobin concentrations and the cardiovascular and renal outcomes in a prospective cohort of 326 patients with stage 3 to 5 CKD. Fluid status, as defined by overhydration (OH) level measured with bioimpedance, was negatively correlated with hemoglobin concentrations at baseline (r=-0.438, P<0.001). In multivariate regression analysis, OH remained an independent predictor of hemoglobin, second only to estimated glomerular filtration rate. Patients were stratified into 3 groups: no anemia (n=105), true anemia (n=82), and anemia with excess OH (n=139) (relative OH level ≥7%, the 90th percentile for the healthy population). During a median follow-up of 2.2 years, there was no difference in cardiovascular and renal risks between patients with true anemia and those with no anemia in the adjusted Cox proportional hazards models. However, patients with anemia with excess OH had a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and CKD progression relative to those with true anemia and those with no anemia, respectively. Fluid retention is associated with the severity of anemia and adverse cardiovascular and renal outcomes in patients with CKD. Further research is warranted to clarify whether the correction of fluid retention, instead of increasing erythropoiesis, would improve outcomes of CKD-associated anemia. © 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
    Journal of the American Heart Association 12/2015; 4(1). DOI:10.1161/JAHA.114.001480

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