Clinical and Experimental Nephrology

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 445–452

Incidence of symptomatic stroke and cancer in chronic kidney disease patients treated with epoetins

  • Enyu Imai
  • Ryohei Yamamoto
  • Hiromichi Suzuki
  • Tsuyoshi Watanabe
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10157-010-0308-x

Cite this article as:
Imai, E., Yamamoto, R., Suzuki, H. et al. Clin Exp Nephrol (2010) 14: 445. doi:10.1007/s10157-010-0308-x



Use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) has been reported to increase the incidence of cardiovascular diseases at target Hb levels by more than 12.0 g/dl. The recent TREAT study found an increased incidence of stroke and cancer when maintaining the Hb level at 12.5 g/dl in diabetic patients.


Surveillance of Epoetin-Adverse Events of Stroke and Cancer (SEASCAN) was a cross-sectional study conducted under urgent conditions by the Committee on CKD Initiatives of the Japanese Society of Nephrology. Patients who were at least 18 years old and had CKD stage 4 and 5, namely, eGFR <30 ml/min/1.73 m2, and who had visited the outpatient department of the participating facilities between December 2009 and January 2010 with at least 6 months of prior medical treatment in the participating facilities were eligible to participate in the study.


Of 7,415 patients with CKD stage 4 and 5, 3,653 (49.3%), 879 (11.9%) and 2,883 (38.9%) patients received no epoetin, epoetin for less than 6 months and epoetin for at least 6 months, respectively. In patients who did not use epoetin, use of epoetin for less than 6 months and use of epoetin for at least 6 months, the numbers of patients with stroke were 38 (1.0%), 8 (0.9%) and 27 (0.9%), respectively, and those with newly diagnosed or exacerbated malignancy were 88 (2.4%), 30 (3.4%) and 71 (2.5%), respectively, demonstrating insignificant associations between outcome and duration of treatment with epoetin (P for trend = 0.666 in stroke and 0.836 in malignancy).


No significant increase in the risk of developing symptomatic stroke and cancer was observed for the use of epoetin in current clinical practice in Japan.


Renal anemiaStrokeCancerCKDJapanese

Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Nephrology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enyu Imai
    • 1
  • Ryohei Yamamoto
    • 2
  • Hiromichi Suzuki
    • 3
  • Tsuyoshi Watanabe
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of NephrologyNagoya University Graduate School of MedicineNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Geriatric Medicine and NephrologyOsaka University Graduate School of MedicineSuitaJapan
  3. 3.Department of NephrologySaitama Medical UniversitySaitamaJapan
  4. 4.Third Department of MedicineFukushima Medical CollegeFukushimaJapan