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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 1998 August;157(4):111-5

language: Italian

Postsurgical anemia. Role of recombinant human erythropoietin in selected cases

Nifosì G.

Ospedale di Nizza Monferrato (Asti), Divisione di Medicina Interna


Background. The postsurgical anaemia is a frequent pathological condition due to a reduced production of erythropoietin, whether for elements concerning the patients or for surgical stress and haematic discharges. In this paper the possible role of rh-EPO in the prevention and therapy of the postsurgical anaemia, is discussed, paying a particular attention to a possible reduction of the transfusion requirements.
Methods. The study lasted about one month and it has been carried out with some patients who had to undergo abdominal and orthopedic surgery. Each patient had a medical examination 15 days before surgery, the day of surgery and in the following 5 days. The parameters which have been considered are: blood count, the state of iron, the number of blood transfusions and the quality of life. The patients have been divided into two homogeneous groups: the former has been treated with standard therapy, the latter with EPO.
Results. The results have pointed out in the EPO group an improvement of Hb and Ht postsurgery and a lower falling of these parameters within five days, besides a lower number of transfusions and a better quality of life.
Conclusions. The postsurgical anaemia represent a relevant clinical problem as regards sanitary cost. The rh-EPO represent a very interesting therapeutic strategy in the treatment of these conditions in selected patients, as it reduces the number of tranfusions and it betters the quality of the life, reducing the social-sanitary costs too. Further studies are needed to define the optimal posology, the most suitable treatment and the validity of association with other terapeutical schemes, as those ones with other haemopoietic growth factors.

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