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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 298-305
Attitude of Physicians toward the Use of Erythropoietin in Hemodialysis Patients

Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Muhammad Ziad Souqiyyeh
Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, P.O. Box 27049, Riyadh, 11417
Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 17642796

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We attempted in this study to evaluate the attitude of the physicians in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) towards the use of recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO) in patients on hemodialysis (HD). We sent a questionnaire to 181 physicians in the 147 active dialysis centers in KSA; 110 (74.9 %) of them were under the Ministry of Health (MOH), 14 (9.5%) in Governmental non-MOH hospitals and 23 (15.6 %) were in private hospitals. This covered a population of more than 7300 chronic HD patients. The study was conducted from October to December 2004. Response was obtained from 144 physicians (79.5%), working in 135 dialysis centers (92.5%) that totally treated 7107 (97%) HD patients in the KSA. Of the 144 respondents, 99 (72.8%) responded that they would use r-HuEPO therapy for all new HD patients not guided by hemoglobin (Hb) level. Almost all the respondents would start the patients on a weekly dose of < 200 units/kg, while they would maintain the patients on a weekly dose of < 150 units/kg. Written protocols to guide the administration of r­HuEPO were available in only half of the dialysis centers. A total of 83 respondents (58%) would aim at a target Hb of 110-120 g/l while 29 (20.3%) would go higher to 121-130 g/l. There were 51 (37.5%) respondents who considered multi-dose vials of the drug better for expense saving. There were 35 (24.8%) respondents who believed the type of r-HuEPO (alfa, beta) determines the development of the antibodies to r-HuEPO, while 84 (59.6%) had no idea. After regrouping of the respondents according to their affiliation, there was a significantly less percentage of the MOH centers which treated > 70% of the dialysis patients with the drug in comparison with the non-MOH and private sector centers (81% vs 100%, respectively P<0.04). There was a significantly less percentage of MOH than the non­MOH centers to have a written protocol for administration of r-HuEPO (49.1% vs 95% respectively, P<0.0002). In conclusion, a protocol to guide the r-HuEPO therapy in HD patients is lacking in many centers of the KSA and there is a need for increased awareness of the physicians working in those centers in the practical aspects of the use of this drug in the treatment of anemia in this population

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