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European best practice guidelines for the management of anaemia in patients with chronic renal failure.

Best practice guidelines recommend management strategies and attempt to set standards for optimal patient care. The momentum towards formulating guidelines comes not only from health care professionals, but also from health care management organizations, who need some way of measuring the quality of the services they purchase. The European Best Practice Guidelines for the Management of Anaemia in Patients with Chronic Renal Failure have been drawn up by a Working Party including representatives of the European Renal Association/European Dialysis and Transplantation Association (ERA-EDTA) and the national nephrology societies of a cross-section of European countries. The guidelines draw on the National Kidney Foundation-Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF-DOQI) Clinical Best Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Anemia in Chronic Renal Failure, but reflect European clinical practice and experience. They include additional publications, and new analysis and interpretation of the evidence base. Topics covered in the European guidelines include diagnosis of the anaemia of chronic renal failure, indications for starting treatment with epoetin, recommended minimum target haemoglobin concentrations, epoetin dosage and route of administration, assessing and optimizing iron stores, causes and management of epoetin resistance, and possible adverse effects of epoetin treatment. The guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive but rather to provide clinical guidance based on the best available evidence. The evidence supporting each guideline is graded, so that physicians may judge its reliability.[1]


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