Recombinant human erythropoietin, such as epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa, is an important therapy for anemia due to chronic renal failure. Allergy to recombinant human erythropoietin and the need for desensitization are rare.We report here a novel epoetin alfa outpatient desensitization protocol in a girl who developed delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity to subcutaneous epoetin alfa and intravenous darbepoetin alfa. An initial attempt at traditional epoetin alfa desensitization failed, so we created a slower 17-day outpatient desensitization that succeeded and allowed treatment continuation.This case highlights the notion that delayed-type hypersensitivity to recombinant human erythropoietin can occur as evident by reproducible reactions after repeated exposures and slow outpatient desensitization can be considered when a trial of more rapid induction of tolerance is unsuccessful.
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