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Vimal K. Derebail, MD, MPH, has authored a study, “Variant hemoglobin phenotypes may account for differential erythropoietin-stimulating agent dosing in African-American hemodialysis patients” published on-line on August 17 in Kidney International.

In this study, Dr. Derebail and his colleagues evaluated the influence of abnormal hemoglobin variants including sickle cell trait on the response to anemia therapy in 154 African American patients receiving hemodialysis.

The investigators found that patients who had had a variant of hemoglobin were more likely to require higher doses of erthropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs), drugs that are used to treat anemia and maintain red blood cell counts in dialysis patients. These findings remain preliminary but may explain, in part, the higher need for ESAs among African American dialysis patients and may also suggest a relative resistance to these medications.

Dr. Derebail plans further research to confirm these initial findings in a larger study, and will also investigate pathophysiologic mechanisms to explain these findings.

Click here to read the article published in Kidney International.