Eleven patients with chronic inflammatory arthritides and haemoglobin concentrations less than 105 g/l with symptoms from their anaemia were treated with a dose of 250 IU/kg/week of recombinant human erythropoietin for six weeks. The treatment was given as subcutaneous injections five days a week. All patients had active inflammatory disease. Nine patients responded to treatment with an increase in haemoglobin of more than 15 g/l. The mean (SD) haemoglobin concentration increased from 93.0 (8.0) g/l before treatment to 115.0 (12.0) g/l after six weeks. There was no correlation between the initial serum concentration of erythropoietin and the response. It was concluded that anaemia in chronic inflammatory arthritides responds to treatment with subcutaneous injections of recombinant human erythropoietin.
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