OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) in postpartum anemia. STUDY DESIGN At the University Hospital of Ioannina, rHuEpo was administrated subcutaneously to twenty anemic women (hemoglobin [Hb]<10 g/dl), for 15 days following delivery; all were given iron and folic acid per os. Twenty other women (the control group) with postpartum anemia (Hb<10 g/dl), received only iron and folic acid. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used for the comparison of hematological indices between the two groups, on days 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 40 postdelivery. RESULTS On day 3, reticulocyte counts were significantly higher in the women who received rHuEpo, as compared to the controls (P<0.05). The mean Hb value increased to >2 g/dl in
the group undergoing rHuEpo therapy as compared to 0.7 g/dl in the control group on day 5 (P<0.05). Furthermore, two women in the control group required blood transfusions, while no transfusions were required by the rHuEpo group. CONCLUSIONS rHuEpo administration is useful for a more rapid amelioration of hematological indices in women with postpartum anemia. Further, the dose given in this study was not associated with significant side-effects.