What is the role of hypoxia in anemia of chronic disease and renal failure?

Updated: Apr 13, 2020
  • Author: Gates B Colbert, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
  • Print


Hypoxia is the most potent stimulus to the production of erythropoietin by the kidneys. In the healthy individual, erythropoietin exerts its effects in the bone marrow to help in the production of RBCs, thereby improving oxygen concentration in the blood, relieving the hypoxia.

Another complication that commonly occurs in those with chronic kidney disease is that of secondary hyperparathyroidism and the development of renal osteodystrophy. In these patients, the bone marrow tends to be fibrotic and, hence, less responsive to the effects of erythropoietin.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!