Effects of erythropoietin on glucose tolerance in hemodialysis patients

A. Chagnac, T. Weinstein, D. Zevin, A. Korzets, J. Hirsh, U. Gafter, J. Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Erythropoietin (EPO) therapy is widely used to correct the anemia of end-stage renal disease. It has been reported that this treatment affects various hormonal systems. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of EPO therapy on glucose tolerance. Anemia was corrected with EPO in 10 patients on chronic hemodialysis therapy. Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) were performed before and after correction of anemia. The following measurements were made: the areas under the glucose curves (AUC(gluc)), the areas over basal glucose values (OABV(gluc)), the areas under the insulin curves (AUC(ins)) and the areas over basal insulin values (AOBV(ins)). Hemoglobin concentration increased from 70 ± 1.4 g/l to 111 ± 1 g/l. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin and glucagon levels were not affected by correction of the anemia. Following administration of EPO, AOBV(gluc) increased by 19%, from 2101 ± 243 to 2508 ± 230 mmol·min/l (p < 0.02), while AOBV(ins) remained unchanged. AUC(ins) and AUC(gluc) remained unchanged. These data show that correction of anemia with EPO in hemodialyzed patients causes an increase in the glycemic response to an oral glucose load while not affecting the insulin response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-400
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Erythropoietin
  • Glucose tolerance
  • Hemodialysis


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