Clinical and Experimental Nephrology

Prescription rate of erythropoietin-stimulating agents is low for patients with renal impairment under non-nephrology care in a tertiary-level academic medical center in Japan

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Background: Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and iron supplements may be prescribed appropriately under nephrology care. However, there are few reports detailing the differences in prescription rates of these therapies among clinical departments. Methods: A total of 39,585 patients with renal impairment were enrolled from a database of 914,280 patients. Patients were selected based on an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) less than 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. There were eight clinical departments from internal medicine, including nephrology. We defined a hemoglobin level less than 11.0 g/dL as anemia and set 20% of transferrin saturation and 100 ng/mL of serum ferritin as cutoff points. We compared the prescription rates of ESAs and iron supplementation based on the hemoglobin level and iron status among the patients seen across the eight clinical departments. Results: The lower the eGFR, the more the number of patients seen under nephrology care. The rates of patients with no prescription were 52.3, 39.9, 45.9, and 54.3% among those with hemoglobin levels of < 8, 8 ≤ < 9, 9 ≤ < 10, and 10 ≤ < 11 g/dL, respectively. Of the patients with less than 11.0 g/dL of hemoglobin, 77.3% were prescribed ESAs under nephrology care. Meanwhile, only 18.5 and 8.2% of patients were prescribed ESAs in clinical departments of internal medicine, other than nephrology, and non-internal medicine care, respectively. Conclusion: Treatment for anemia has not been sufficiently performed in patients with renal impairment under non-nephrology care in a real-world clinical setting.