Blunted erythropoietic response to anemia in multiply traumatized patients

Petra Hobisch-Hagen, Franz Wiedermann, Andreas Mayr, Dietmar Fries, Wolfgang Jelkmann, Dietmar Fuchs, Walter Hasibeder, Norbert Mutz, Anton Klingler, Wolfgang Schobersberger*

*Corresponding author for this work
96 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess the relations between anemia, serum erythropoietin (EPO), iron status, and inflammatory mediators in multiply traumatized patients. Design: Prospective observational study. Setting: Intensive care unit. Patients: Twenty-three patients suffering from severe trauma (injury severity score ≥30). Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Blood samples were collected within 12 hrs after the accident (day 1) and in the morning on days 2, 4, 6, and 9 to determine blood cell status, serum EPO, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), soluble tumor necrosis factor-receptor I (sTNF-rl), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1-ra), interleukin-6 (IL-6), neopterin, and iron status, respectively. Hemoglobin concentration was low at admission (mean, 10.0 g/dL; range, 6.8-12.9 g/dL) and did not increase during the observation time. Serum EPO concentration was 49.8 U/L (mean value) on day 1 and did not show significant increases thereafter. No correlation was found between EPO and hemoglobin concentrations. TNF-α remained within the normal range, sTNF-rl was high at admission and increased further. IL1-ra was above the normal range. IL-6 was very high at admission and did not decrease thereafter. The initial neopterin concentration was normal, but increased until day 9. Serum iron was significantly decreased on day 2 posttrauma and remained low during the study. Serum ferritin increased steadily from day 2, reaching its maximum on day 9. In contrast, concentrations of transferrin were low from admission onward. Conclusions: Multiply traumatized patients exhibit an inadequate EPO response to low hemoglobin concentrations. Thus, anemia in severe trauma is the result of a complex network of bleeding, blunted EPO response to low hemoglobin concentrations, inflammatory mediators, and a hypoferremic state.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)743-747
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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