Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany)

Association of higher erythropoiesis stimulating agent dose and mortality in children on dialysis.

PMID 24794833


Higher doses of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) have been associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESRD), but to our knowledge no trials have been performed in children. We examined the association between ESA dose and all-cause mortality in a prevalent pediatric dialysis population. Retrospective cohort study utilizing national data on all prevalent dialysis patients aged <18 years from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' 2005 ESRD Clinical Performance Measures (CPM) project, linked to 18-month mortality records from the United States Renal Data System. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to determine the risk of mortality by mean weekly ESA dose. Eight-hundred and twenty-nine children were included in the analysis; 7 % died during follow-up. A higher proportion of patients receiving ESA doses in the highest category (erythropoietin ≥350 units/kg/week or darbepoetin ≥1.5 units/kg/week) died (50 % vs 28 %, p = 0.002), and also demonstrated a trend toward lower hemoglobin (11.0 vs 11.4 g/dL, p = 0.05). In multivariate analysis, patients receiving the highest dose of ESA demonstrated an increased risk of mortality (hazard ratio 3.37; p value <0.01). Higher ESA dose is independently associated with mortality in children on chronic dialysis.