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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2002 Jan;13(1):184-90.

Prophylaxis of hemodialysis graft thrombosis with fish oil: double-blind, randomized, prospective trial.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Diets enriched with fish oil may favorably affect the vascular perturbations underlying synthetic graft thrombosis. Therefore, these studies were designed to test the hypothesis that diets enriched with fish oil would decrease the incidence of thrombosis in newly constructed polytetrafluorethylene grafts. A double-blind, randomized trial was conducted. Twenty-four patients were randomized to receive 4000 mg of fish oil or 4000 mg of control oil. Both preparations were enriched with antioxidants and deodorized with peppermint. Patients began therapy within 2 wk after graft placement and were monitored for 12 mo or until thrombosis developed. With a permuted-block randomization schedule, 12 patients received fish oil and 12 patients received control oil. The primary patency rates at 365 d were 14.9% for the control group and 75.6% for the fish oil-treated group. Survival analysis revealed a significant difference between fish oil-treated and untreated patients (P < 0.03, Mantel-Cox test), with a power of 90%. Moreover, analysis of covariables, including age of > or =50 yr, gender, race, body weight, diabetes mellitus, bleeding times, and lipid profiles, indicated that this effect occurred principally as a result of fish oil administration. Importantly, fish oil treatment also decreased venous outflow resistance and systemic BP, compared with control values. Fish oils possess unique biologic properties that favorably affect the incidence of polytetrafluorethylene graft thrombosis, and they thus represent a potential treatment strategy for the prevention of access thrombosis.

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