Hyporesponsiveness to Darbepoetin Alfa in Patients With Heart Failure and Anemia in the RED-HF Study (Reduction of Events by Darbepoetin Alfa in Heart Failure)
Clinical and Prognostic Associations
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Background: A poor response to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents such as darbepoetin alfa has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients with diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and anemia; whether this is also true in heart failure is unclear.
Methods and Results: We performed a post hoc analysis of the RED-HF trial (Reduction of Events by Darbepoetin Alfa in Heart Failure), in which 1008 patients with systolic heart failure and anemia (hemoglobin level, 9.0–12.0 g/dL) were randomized to darbepoetin alfa. We examined the relationship between the hematopoietic response to darbepoetin alfa and the incidence of all-cause death or first heart failure hospitalization during a follow-up of 28 months. For the purposes of the present study, patients in the lowest quartile of hemoglobin change after 4 weeks were considered nonresponders. The median initial hemoglobin change in nonresponders (n=252) was −0.25 g/dL and +1.00 g/dL in the remainder of patients (n=756). Worse renal function, lower sodium levels, and less use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers were independently associated with nonresponse. Although a low endogenous erythropoietin level helped to differentiate responders from nonresponders, its predictive value in a multivariable model was poor (C statistic=0.69). Nonresponders had a higher rate of all-cause death or first heart failure hospitalization (hazard ratio, 1.25; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.54) and a higher risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.63) than responders.
Conclusions: A poor response to darbepoetin alfa was associated with worse outcomes in heart failure patients with anemia. Patients with a poor response were difficult to identify using clinical and biochemical biomarkers.
- Received April 4, 2017.
- Accepted November 30, 2017.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.