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Arch Med Sci. 2012 May 9;8(2):256-62. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2012.28553.

Effect of clinical condition and mycophenolate mofetil on plasma retinol, α-tocopherol and β-carotene in renal transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Physical Pharmacy and Pharmacokinetics, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland.



Plasma antioxidant vitamins (retinol, α-tocopherol, β-carotene) were measured to establish the influence of clinical condition and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) treatment on the nutritional status of renal transplant recipients.


In 106 adult patients plasma vitamins were measured and 24-h diet history questionnaires were conducted. The MMF influence on plasma vitamins was verified in 61 patients.


The current dietary intakes of vitamins in daily food rations were lower than recommended. Plasma retinol was lower in patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders (1.25 ±0.48 mg/l vs. 1.55 ±0.70 mg/l) and inversely associated with aminotransferases activity (p = 0.019) and creatinine clearance (p = 0.021). Retinol concentrations were positively associated with plasma creatinine (p = 0.027) and pharmacokinetic parameters of MMF phenyl glucuronide. β-Carotene concentrations were higher in women (0.39 ±0.46 mg/l vs. 0.28 ±0.23 mg/l; p = 0.041) and when MMF was co-administered with cyclosporine vs. tacrolimus (0.45 ±0.62 mg/l vs. 0.25 ±0.19 mg/l). Plasma α-tocopherol correlated negatively with the mycophenolic acid pre-dose concentration (p = 0.027) and was significantly lower in patients treated with calcineurin inhibitors (8.90 ±5.23 mg/l vs. 12.25 ±5.62 mg/l). A positive correlation was observed between α-tocopherol levels and aspartate aminotransferase (p = 0.006). In multivariate regression aspartate aminotransferase and MMF treatment significantly influenced retinol (p < 0.001).


The MMF treatment was associated with significantly lower retinol concentrations. The gastrointestinal disorders occurrence in MMF-treated patients may cause a decrease in retinol absorption. Diet adjustment and/or vitamin A supplementation should be considered.


antioxidant vitamins; clinical condition; mycophenolate mofetil; nutritional status; renal transplantation

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