Plasma erythropoietin levels in anaemic and non-anaemic patients with chronic liver diseases

Department of Internal Medicine and Sistemic Diseases, University of Catania, Italy.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 05/2004; 10(9):1353-6.
Source: PubMed


To investigate the serum erythropoietin (Epo) levels in patients with chronic liver diseases and to compare to subjects with iron-deficiency anaemia and healthy controls.
We examined 31 anaemic (ALC) and 22 non-anaemic (NALC) cirrhotic patients, 21 non- anaemic subjects with chronic active hepatitis (CAH), 24 patients with iron-deficiency anaemia (ID) and 15 healthy controls. Circulating Epo levels (ELISA; R and D Systems, Europe Ltd, Abingdon, UK) and haemoglobin (Hb) concentration were determined in all subjects.
Mean+/-SD of Epo values was 26.9+/-10.8 mU/mL in ALC patients, 12.5+/-8.0 mU/mL in NALC subjects, 11.6+/-6.3 mU/mL in CAH patients, 56.4+/-12.7 mU/mL in the cases of ID and 9.3+/-2.6 mU/mL in controls. No significant difference (P>0.05) was found in Epo levels between controls, CAH and NALC patients. ALC individuals had higher Epo levels (P<0.01) than these groups whereas ID subjects had even higher levels (P<0.001) than patients suffering from ALC.
Increased Epo values in cirrhotics, are only detectable when haemoglobin was lesser than 12 g/dL. Nevertheless, this rise in value is lower than that observed in anaemic patients with iron-deficiency and appears blunted and inadequate in comparison to the degree of anaemia.

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