Use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents in children with chronic kidney disease: a systematic review

Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, Paediatric Nephrology, Glasgow, UK.

Clinical kidney journal. 2022;15(8):1483-1505

Other resources

PICO Summary

Population

Children with chronic kidney disease using any erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), (58 studies, n= 3,895).

Intervention

Systematic review assessing the efficacy of ESAs.

Comparison

Outcome

A total of 38 studies assessed the efficacy of recombinant human erythropoietin, 11 of darbepoetin alpha, and 3 of continuous erythropoietin receptor activator, with 6 studies appraising secondary outcome measures exclusively. The most common adverse effect was hypertension, although confounding effects often limited direct correlation. Two large cohort studies demonstrated a greater hazard of death independently associated with high ESA dose. Secondary outcome measures included quality of life measures, growth and nutrition, exercise capacity, injection site pain, cardiovascular function, intelligent quotient, evoked potentials and platelet function.
Abstract
BACKGROUND Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) revolutionized the management of anaemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD) when introduced in the late 1980s. A range of ESA types, preparations and administration modalities now exist, with newer agents requiring less frequent administration. Although systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been published in adults, no systematic review has been conducted investigating ESAs in children. METHODS The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses statement for the conduct of systematic reviews was used. All available literature on outcomes relating to ESAs in children with CKD was sought. A search of the MEDLINE, CINAHL and Embase databases was conducted by two independent reviewers. Inclusion criteria were published trials in English, children with chronic and end-stage kidney disease and use of any ESA studied against any outcome measure. An assessment of risk of bias was carried out in all included randomized trials using the criteria from the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Two tables were used for data extraction for randomized and observational studies. Study type, participants, inclusion criteria, case characteristics, follow-up duration, ESA type and dosage, interventions and outcomes were extracted by one author. RESULTS Of 965 identified articles, 58 were included covering 54 cohorts. Six were randomized trials and 48 were observational studies. A total of 38 studies assessed the efficacy of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO), 11 of darbepoetin alpha (DA) and 3 of continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA), with 6 studies appraising secondary outcome measures exclusively. Recruitment to studies was a consistent challenge. The most common adverse effect was hypertension, although confounding effects often limited direct correlation. Two large cohort studies demonstrated a greater hazard of death independently associated with high ESA dose. Secondary outcome measures included quality of life measures, growth and nutrition, exercise capacity, injection site pain, cardiovascular function, intelligent quotient, evoked potentials and platelet function. CONCLUSIONS All ESA preparations and modes of administration were efficacious, with evidence of harm at higher doses. Evidence supports individualizing treatments, with strong consideration given to alternate treatments in patients who appear resistant to ESA therapy. Further research should focus on randomized trials comparing the efficacy of different preparations, treatment options in apparently ESA-resistant cohorts and clarification of meaningful secondary outcomes to consolidate patient-relevant indices.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine