Background: The main hypothesis of this study is that Oxpentifylline administration will effectively treat erythropoietin-or darbepoietin-resistant anaemia in chronic kidney disease patients.
Methods/design: Inclusion criteria are adult patients with stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease (including dialysis patients) with significant anaemia (haemoglobin = 200 IU/kg/week) or darbepoetin (>= 1 mu g/kg/week). Patients will be randomized 1: 1 to receive either placebo (1 tablet daily) or oxpentifylline (400 mg daily) per os for a period of 4 months. During this 4 month study period, haemoglobin measurements will be performed monthly. The primary outcome measure will be the difference in haemoglobin level between the 2 groups at the end of the 4 month study period, adjusted for baseline values. Secondary outcome measures will include erythropoiesis stimulating agent dosage, Key's index (erythropoiesis stimulating agent dosage divided by haemoglobin concentration), and blood transfusion requirement.
Discussion: This investigator-initiated multicentre study has been designed to provide evidence to help nephrologists and their chronic kidney disease patients determine whether oxpentifylline represents a safe and effective strategy for treating erythropoiesis stimulating agent resistance in chronic kidney disease.