Background: Hyporesponsiveness to erythropoietin stimulating agent (ESA) is associated with poor outcome in patients with chronic kidney disease. Although ESA hyporesponsiveness and sarcopenia have common pathophysiological background, clinical evidence linking them are scarce. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between ESA responsiveness and skeletal muscle mass in hemodialysis patient.
Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed 70 patients on maintenance hemodialysis who were treated with ESA. ESA responsiveness was evaluated by erythropoietin resistance index (ERI), calculated as weekly dose of ESA divided by body weight and hemoglobin (IU/kg/week/dL), and weekly dose of ESA/hemoglobin (IU/week/dL). Dose of ESA was equivalated with epoetin β. Correlations between ESA responsiveness and clinical parameters including skeletal muscle mass were analyzed.
Results: Among the 70 patients, ERI was positively correlated to age (p < 0.002), whereas negatively correlated to height (p < 0.001), body weight (p < 0.001), BMI (p < 0.001), skeletal muscle mass (p < 0.001), transferrin saturation (TSAT) (p = 0.049), and zinc (p = 0.006). In the multiple linear regression analysis, TSAT, zinc and skeletal muscle mass were associated with ERI and weekly ESA dose/hemoglobin.
Conclusions: Skeletal muscle mass was the independent predictor for ESA responsiveness as well as TSAT and zinc. Sarcopenia is another target for the management of anemia in patients with hemodialysis.