Background: Erythropoietin (EPO) has antiapoptotic and tissue-protective effects, but previous clinical studies using high-dose EPO have not shown cardioprotective effects, probably because of platelet activation and a lack of knowledge regarding the optimal dose. In contrast, a small pilot study using low-dose EPO has shown improvement in left ventricular function without adverse cardiovascular events. Methods and Results: We performed a multicenter (25 hospitals), prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-finding study to clarify the efficacy and safety of low-dose EPO in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) under the Evaluation System of Investigational Medical Care of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan. In total, 198 STEMI patients with low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF <50%) were randomly assigned to receive intravenous administration of EPO (6,000 or 12,000 IU) or placebo within 6 h of successful percutaneous coronary intervention. At 6 months, there was no significant dose-response relationship in LVEF improvement among the 3 groups tested (EPO 12,000 IU: 5.4±9.3%, EPO 6,000 IU: 7.3±7.7%, Placebo: 8.1±8.3%, P=0.862). Low-dose EPO also did not improve cardiac function, as evaluated by 99 m Tc-MIBI SPECT or NT-proBNP at 6 months and did not increase adverse events. Conclusions: Administration of low-dose EPO did not improve LVEF at 6 months in STEMI patients (UMIN000005721).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1091
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Erythropoietin
  • Left ventricular ejection fraction


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