To study the effect of treatment of anaemia with recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HUEPO) on neuromuscular function in patients undergoing haemodialysis for chronic renal failure, six patients were given r-HUEPO in an initial dose of 50 u/kg three times a week and their haemoglobin concentration was measured. The dose was increased by 25 u/kg every four weeks if the response was not satisfactory. In five patients anaemia had been corrected within 12 weeks of initiation of treatment. Neuromuscular function was evaluated before treatment, half way through, and after correction of anaemia by clinical examination and neurophysiological studies including motor nerve conduction velocity, distal latency, electromyography and test for neuromuscular fatigue. After correction of anaemia there was a significant increase in motor nerve conduction velocity, a decrease in the duration of motor unit action potential, and a lessening of neuromuscular fatigue. We conclude that treatment of anaemia with r-HUEPO in patients with chronic renal failure undergoing haemodialysis may improve neuromuscular function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas