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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Nephrology 1/2019

In search of potential predictors of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) hyporesponsiveness: a population-based study

BMC Nephrology > Ausgabe 1/2019
Ylenia Ingrasciotta, Viviana Lacava, Ilaria Marcianò, Francesco Giorgianni, Giovanni Tripepi, Graziella D’ Arrigo, Alessandro Chinellato, Daniele Ugo Tari, Domenico Santoro, Gianluca Trifirò
Wichtige Hinweise
Ingrasciotta Ylenia and Lacava Viviana are first authorship shared and contributed equally.
The original version of this article was revised: the authors identified that the first name and the last name of all the authors were interchanged.

Supplementary information

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12882-019-1554-0.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Evidences show that around 20% of biosimilar or originator erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) users are hyporesponsive. Controversial post-marketing data exist on the predictors of ESA hyporesponsiveness. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of ESA hyporesponsiveness in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or cancer in clinical practice.


During the years 2009–2015, a multi-center, population-based, cohort study was conducted using claims databases of Treviso and Caserta Local Health Units (LHUs). All incident ESA users were characterized at baseline and the differences between the baseline hemoglobin (Hb) value, that is the Hb registered within 30 days prior to the first ESA dispensing (index date, ID) and each outcome Hb value (registered between 30 and 180 days after ID) were calculated and defined as delta Hb (ΔHb). Incident ESA users were defined as hyporesponsive if, during follow-up, they registered at least one ΔHb < 0 g/dL. Including all potential predictors of ESA hyporesponsiveness and stratifying by indication for use, univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression models and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were carried out.


`In general, 1080 incident ESA users (CKD: 57.0%; cancer: 43.0%) were identified. In CKD, predictors of ESA hyporesponsiveness were C-reactive protein (OR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0–1.5; P-value = 0.060) and high levels of baseline Hb (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2–2.2; P-value< 0,001), the latter being also predictor of ESA hyporesponsiveness in cancer (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1–2.4; P-value = 0.007). Both in CKD and in cancer, the type of ESA, biosimilar or originator, was not a predictor of ESA hyporesponsiveness. In CKD, concomitant use of iron preparations (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.2–0.7; P-value = 0.002) and of high dosage of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II-receptor blockers (OR = 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3–0.9; P-value = 0.022) were protective factors against ESA hyporesponsiveness.


The study confirmed traditional potential predictors of hyporesponsiveness to ESA. The use of biosimilar or originator ESA was not a predictor of hyporesponsiveness in an outpatient setting from two large Italian areas. A better knowledge of the predictors of ESA response would allow a better anemia management to improve patients’ quality of life.
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