Cardiovascular Morbidity and Pure Red Cell Aplasia Associated With Epoetin Theta Therapy in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease: A Prospective, Noninterventional, Multicenter Cohort Study

Andreas Lammerich, Peter Balcke, Peter Bias, Simone Mangold, Martin Wiesholzer

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The European Medicines Agency recommends limiting the hemoglobin (Hb) concentration to 10 to 12 g/dL in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents such as epoetin theta. This postauthorization study assessed the incidence and intensity of cardiovascular events, including ischemic stroke, in patients receiving epoetin theta for anemia associated with CKD. A secondary end point was adverse drug reactions, including pure red cell aplasia.

METHODS: In this prospective, noninterventional, multinational cohort study, consecutive patients with advanced or end-stage renal disease and receiving epoetin theta were followed up for 6 months. Data on reportable adverse events (RAEs) (cardiac disorders, cardiac failure, myocardial infarction, and ischemic stroke and respective subterms), epoetin theta dosage, and Hb concentrations were collected. A post hoc exploratory analysis assessed the incidences of RAEs according to tertiles for individual mean Hb concentration (≤10.7, >10.7-11.47, and >11.47 g/dL for low, intermediate, and high, respectively) and mean weekly epoetin theta dosage (≤62, >62-125, and >125 IU/kg/wk for low, intermediate, and high).

FINDINGS: Data from 1039 patients were included (577 men, 462 women; mean age, 68.7 years). A total of 101 RAEs were documented in 89 patients (8.6%), for an event rate of 0.1985/person-year. Sixty-four patients (6.1%) died; none of the deaths was considered related to epoetin theta use. The incidence of RAEs was lowest at intermediate Hb concentrations (6.2%) compared with low (11.3%) and high (7.8%) Hb concentrations. The incidence of ischemic stroke was 1.5% at high Hb concentrations versus 0.6% at both the low and intermediate Hb concentrations. The incidence of any RAE was greater in the high-dose group (10.1%) than in the intermediate-dose (8.0%) and low-dose (7.6%) groups. The risk for any cardiovascular RAE or ischemic stroke was greatest in the high-dose/high-Hb group (13.3%), followed by high dose/low Hb (12.6%) and low dose/low Hb (12.1%). The risks for RAEs were lowest at high dose/intermediate Hb (3.8%) and low dose/intermediate Hb (5.3%). The event rate of adverse drug reactions other than the predefined RAEs was 0.0161/person-year. No cases of pure red cell aplasia were reported.

IMPLICATIONS: The findings from the present study suggest that, for maintaining the optimal target Hb concentration (10-12 g/dL according to the current summary of product characteristics for epoetin theta; 10-11.5 g/dL according to the current guideline from Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes) in anemic adults with CKD, the lowest approved, effective dose epoetin theta should be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-287.e4
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia/drug therapy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Erythropoietin/administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Heart Failure/epidemiology
  • Hematinics/administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic/complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure/epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/complications
  • Stroke/epidemiology
  • Young Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiovascular Morbidity and Pure Red Cell Aplasia Associated With Epoetin Theta Therapy in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease: A Prospective, Noninterventional, Multicenter Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this