Don’t administer erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) to chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with hemoglobin levels greater than or equal to 10 g/dL without symptoms of anemia.
Administering ESAs to CKD patients with the goal of normalizing hemoglobin levels has no demonstrated survival or cardiovascular disease benefit, and may be harmful in comparison to a treatment regimen that delays ESA administration or sets relatively conservative targets (9–11 g/dL). ESAs should be prescribed to maintain hemoglobin at the lowest level that both minimizes transfusions and best meets individual patient needs.
These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) maintains a Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) Task Force that advances ASN’s commitment to providing high-quality care to patients and to raising awareness of patient safety issues for all professionals administering care to kidney patients. Each of ASN’s 10 advisory groups contributes expertise to the task force to ensure it addresses all areas of nephrology practice, and the society’s president, public policy board and council also provide insights. The QPS task force centered its focus on five items most likely to positively impact and influence optimal patient care. The final list of five items was unanimously approved by the ASN public policy board and council. ASN’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.asn-online.org.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, The New England Journal of Medicine (multiple publications).