Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease


Hemoglobin (Hb) variability is considered a discrete clinical entity that when present may presage poor clinical outcomes. However, Hb variability is an intrinsic property of biological systems and is present in all patients, those with and without the anemia of chronic kidney disease. Taken together, variability actually represents the integration of multiple influences at multiple levels in the life of a red cell, namely the summation of positive and negative influences on erythropoiesis. Thus, Hb variability may be interpreted as a mathematic function of time and is the result of a host of influences including definition of the normal Hb range, native erythron responsiveness/hyporesponsiveness, temporal changes in endogenous and exogenous erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) levels, the algorithms used to dose ESAs and their duration of action, the presence of biologically available iron, red cell turnover, and recyclable and non-recyclable blood loss and gain. When viewed within this construct of matrixed determinants, the source of hemoglobin variability is more readily identified. When variability is present but the etiology is not easily discerned, erythropoietic hyporesponsivess must be considered and evaluated. Finally, integration of all of these concepts is possible within the context of an anemia management protocol. © 2009 National Kidney Foundation, Inc.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.