Table 1 Summary of the included studies
First author and publication dateFollow-upnPatientsEnd pointsMajor exclusion criteriaESPTarget Hb or HtStudy designStudy quality
Parissis, 2008173 Months32NYHA II–III LVEF <40% Hb <12.5 g/dlExercise capacityEchocardiographicLV and RV evaluationsCr >2.5 mg/dlDarbepoetin alfa14.0 g/dlRandomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, single-centre studyFair
Ghali,200841 Year319NYHA II–IV LVEF <40% Hb <12.5 g/dlChange in exercise time NYHA class, mortality HF hospitalisationsCr >3.0 mg/dlDarbepoetin alfa14.0 g/dlRandomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre studyFair
Van Veldhuisen, 2007526 Weeks165Symptomatic HF LVEF <40% Hb 9.0–12.5 g/dlHb rise, 6-min walk distance, safetysCr >3.0 mg/dlDarbepoetin alfa14.0 g/dlRandomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre studyFair
Ponikowski,20071826 Weeks41Symptomatic CHF LVEF <40% Hb 9–12 g/dlExercise tolerance and duration, NYHA, BNP, hospitalisationBlood transfusion or ESP within 12 weeks sCr >3.0 mg/dlDarbepoetin alfaHb 13.0–15.0 g/dlRandomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre studyFair
Mancini, 2003163 Months23NYHA III/IV Ht <35%,Exercise performanceNon-ambulatory patients, continuous inotropic agents, iron deficiency anaemia sCr >2.5 mg/dlErythropoietin alfaHt >45%Randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, single-centre studyFair
Palazzuoli,200663 Months38NYHA III/IV Hb <11 g/dlNYHA class, exercise capacity, renal function, O2 use, BNPSecondary causes ofanaemia, isolated diastolic HF, <12 weeks MI sCr >5.0 mg/dlErythropoietin betaHb 11.5–12.0 g/dlRandomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-centre studyFair
Silverberg, 200178.2 Months32LVEF <40% Hb 10–11.5 g/dlDays of hospitalisationSecondary causesof anaemiaErythropoietin12.5 g/dlRandomised, open-label, single-centre studyFair
  • BNP, B-type natriuretic protein; CHF, chronic heart failure; ESP, erythropoietin-stimulating protein; ESP, erythropoietin-stimulating protein; ; Ht, haematocrit; LV, left ventricular; LVEF, left ventricular ejection fraction; MI, myocardial infarction; NYHA, New York Heart Association; RV, right ventricular; sCr, serum creatinine.