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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-6

Study evaluating testosterone deficiency as a cause of anemia and reduced responsiveness to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents in men on maintenance hemodialysis

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
3 Department of Nephrology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Ammar Yasser Neanaa
Master Degree, Senior Resident, Internal Medicine, Nephrology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2356-8062.159981

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Introduction Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide disease that is classified into five stages according to the glomerular filtration rate and presents through a variety of symptoms and signs. Anemia is one of the first signs of kidney dysfunction. The most common causes of anemia in CKD are erythropoietin (EPO) hormone deficiency and iron deficiency. Anemia and hyporesponsiveness to erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs) are commonly observed in CKD patients and are associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and a significant healthcare economic burden. Although testosterone deficiency is a prevalent condition in men with CKD, it has so far received relatively little attention in practice. Testosterone stimulates erythropoiesis through the production of hematopoietic growth factors and possible improvement of iron bioavailability. Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate serum testosterone levels in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) and correlate its level with anemia and response to ESAs therapy. Patients and methods This study included 40 male patients from dialysis units, where they were divided equally into group A, group taking ESAs, and group B, group not taking ESAs (EPO-naive group). Another 20 men were included in group C (control group). All groups were subjected to a full assessment of history, full clinical examination, and laboratory investigations to exclude all possible causes of anemia. Results This study showed that in group A, 75% of the participants were anemic, whereas in group B, 100% of the participants were anemic, with a higher degree of anemia. The testosterone level was slightly higher in group B than group A; despite being within the normal range, it was relatively deficient on the basis of the age of the participants in the control group. Conclusion Testosterone deficiency is a prevalent condition in CKD that starts at an earlier age than the normal population. It is an evident independent cause of anemia in EPO-naive CKD patients and is a possible cause of resistance of ESAs in CKD patients; still, the most important causes of anemia in CKD are EPO and iron deficiency.

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