Anemia in chronic heart failure: etiology and treatment options

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Anemia is common in patients with chronic heart failure, and is related to increased morbidity and mortality. The etiology of anemia in heart failure is complex and still not fully resolved. The review will describe current advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of anemia and the potential therapeutic effects of recombinant human erythropoietin.

Recent findings

Recent attempts to resolve the preponderant etiology of anemia in chronic heart failure have further defined its multifactorial nature. Impaired renal perfusion and function resulting in blunted erythropoietin production as well as impaired erythropoiesis in the bone marrow account for a vulnerable erythropoietic system. Moreover, fluid retention causes hemodilutional anemia. Correction of anemia with recombinant human erythropoietin seems feasible and is currently being evaluated in a phase 3 clinical trial. In addition, recombinant human erythropoietin improves cardiac function in chronic heart failure through the recruitment of endothelial progenitor cells and exerts cytoprotective effects during acute myocardial infarction. Although recombinant human erythropoietin shows great promise, we should not neglect other treatable causes of anemia.

Summary

Although the etiology of anemia in chronic heart failure is clearly multifactorial, correction of anemia with recombinant human erythropoietin seems promising. In addition to correction of anemia, recombinant human erythropoietin might exert important protective and regenerative effects on the myocardium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in cardiology
Volume23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2008
Event54th Annual Scientific Session of the American-College-of-Cardiology - Orlando
Duration: 6-Mar-20059-Mar-2005

Keywords

  • anemia
  • chronic heart failure
  • erythropoietin
  • CHRONIC KIDNEY-DISEASE
  • DOXORUBICIN-INDUCED CARDIOMYOPATHY
  • BLUNTED ERYTHROPOIETIN PRODUCTION
  • IMPROVES CARDIAC-FUNCTION
  • DARBEPOETIN-ALPHA
  • INTRAVENOUS IRON
  • RENAL-FUNCTION
  • ENDOGENOUS ERYTHROPOIETIN
  • MYOCARDIAL-INFARCTION
  • PROGENITOR CELLS

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