Mean hemoglobin levels in patients prior to kidney transplantation are below levels that guidelines recommend for patients on peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis, but transplantation allows hemoglobin levels to recover, according to investigators.

In a retrospective study of 649 kidney transplant recipients, 73% had had pre-transplant anemia, defined as hemoglobin levels below 12 g/dL, a team led by Juan Carlos H. Hernández Rivera, MD, of the Kidney Diseases Medical Research Unit, National Healthcare Medical Center “Siglo XXI,” IMSS, Mexico City, reported in Transplantation Proceedings. The mean pre-transplant hemoglobin levels for the study population as a whole was 10.69 g/dL. At 1 year after transplantation, the cohort had a mean hemoglobin level of 14.45 g/dL, or a mean increase 3.76 g/dL compared with pre-transplant levels.

The proportion of patients with anemia and erythrocytosis at 1 year was 12.9% and 5.9%, respectively.

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“Much more information is needed on why patients continue in anemia despite transplantation, and, even more so, why patients reach erythrocytosis 1 year after the transplant,” the authors wrote.

Dr Rivera and his colleagues studied patients who received kidney transplants at the 21st Century National Medical Center in Mexico. The group consisted of 389 male and 260 female recipients (59.9% and 40.1%, respectively).


Morales KBR, Pérez RE, López JDC, et al. Anemia and erythrocytes: Behavior and prevalence 1 year after kidney transplant. Transplant Proc. 2020