Clinical Consequences of Intermittent Elevation of C-Reactive Protein Level in Hemodialysis Patients

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The presence of persistently high C-reactive protein (CRP) levels is well known to be associated with a state of inflammation, malnutrition, and erythropoietin resistance in hemodialysis (HD) population. Meanwhile, a substantial group of patients present with intermittent elevations of CRP levels, and its clinical consequences are unclear. We designed this study to compare the inflammatory and nutritional parameters and erythropoietin requirements in HD patients with persistent or intermittent CRP elevation and those with CRP levels in without. We included 100 HD patients [age: 48.4 ± 14.3 years; HD duration: 69.3 ± 49.0 months (minimum 12 months)]. The 6-month retrospective clinical and laboratory data were retrieved from the patient records, and those with chronic inflammatory disease, malignancy, infectious complications, and surgery were excluded. The monthly determined CRP levels (at least 6 for each patient) were reviewed, and the patients were grouped according to their CRP levels as those with persistent (group 1), intermittent (at least one level of CRP 10 mg/L) (group 2), and those with CRP in normal ranges set by the laboratory (group 3). We compared the fibrinogen, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, albumin, prealbumin, normalized protein catabolic rate (nPCR), interdialytic weight gain (IDWG), and rHuEPO/kg/Hct results of the patient groups. The patient groups revealed significant differences in terms of fibrinogen (p < 0.001), albumin (p < 0.0001), prealbumin (p < 0.007), ICAM-1 (p < 00.2) levels and nPCR (p < 0.03), IDWG (p < 0.02), and rHuEPO/kg/Hct (p < 0.03) values. Group 2 presented to be in risk of inflammation and malnutrition with a decrease in albumin levels and nPCR and presence of rHUEpo resistance when compared to patients in group 3. We conclude that, similar to HD patients with persistently high CRP levels, those with intermittent elevation of CRP must also be considered to be in a state of chronic inflammatory response associated with malnutrition and erythropoietin resistance. This signifies the importance of regulatory monitoring of CRP in HD population.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Nephrology 2: Internal Medicine 3: General Surgery, Başkent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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