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Erythropoietic Response of Dialyzed Patients to Testosterone Administration

JOHN R. RICHARDSON JR., M.D.; and MORTON B. WEINSTEIN, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to John R. Richardson, Jr., M.D., Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, P.O. Box 875 Biscayne Annex, University of Miami, Miami, Fla. 33152


Miami, Florida


Ann Intern Med. 1970;73(3):403-407. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-73-3-403
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Fifteen patients on a program of maintenance dialysis were given courses of testosterone enanthate therapy in weekly doses of 400 to 600 mg, intramuscularly, for 5 to 44 weeks. Thirteen patients exhibited a mean increment in hematocrit (5.6%), red cell volume (353 ml), and red cell volume per kilogram body weight (4.4 ml/kg). The mean rate of plasma iron clearance increased (-36.7 min). In several individuals marked improvement in anemia occurred. Two iron-deficient patients failed to exhibit an erythropoietic response to testosterone. A satisfactory response followed iron replacement. Androgenic hormones may be useful in the treatment of patients with advanced renal failure who are adequately dialyzed, well nourished, and not iron-deficient. This treatment, in conjunction with other measures aimed toward amelioration of anemia, has eliminated transfusion requirements in most of our patients.

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