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Kidney Int. 2003 May;63(5):1881-7.

Vitamin E-bonded hemodialyzer improves atherosclerosis associated with a rheological improvement of circulating red blood cells.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Kidney & Dialysis Center, Shonan Kamakura General Hospital, Kamakura, Japan. shuzo@shonankamakura.or.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vitamin E-bonded hemodialyzer is known to improve oxidative stress in patients with hemodialysis. However, there is little information available as to whether or not this membrane clinically improves atherosclerosis. Furthermore, it remains unknown whether there is any effect of the membrane on rheology of circulating red blood cells.

METHOD:

We conducted a randomized, open-labeled, prospective control study (N = 34) for 1 year to investigate the effect of vitamin E-bonded cellulose membrane dialyzer (EE) (N = 17) on carotid atherosclerotic changes [intima-media thickness (IMT) of carotid arteries] and the viscosity, percentage of dysmorphism (%DMR) of red blood cells (RBCs) and their distribution width-standard deviation (RDW-SD), in comparison with cellulose membrane (SU) (N = 17) identical to EE without vitamin E-bonded membrane. Erythropoietin (EPO) dose used for the treatment of uremic anemia was also calculated.

RESULTS:

The IMT significantly decreased in the EE group, while in the SU group the IMT significantly increased. The viscosity of RBCs in hemodialysis patients (4.70 +/- 0.45 cP) was greater than that in healthy individuals (3.73 +/- 0.15 cP). EE significantly improved the viscosity (from 4.84 +/- 0.41 cP to 4.51 +/- 0.54 cP, P < 0.01), %DMR (from 2.29 +/- 2.17% to 1.90 +/- 1.49%, P < 0.01), and RDW-SD (from 54.4 +/- 7.6 fL to 49.3 +/- 5.9 fL, P < 0.01). On the contrary, these parameters all worsened in the SU group. EPO dose needed for the treatment of anemia was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced from 5383 +/- 2655 U/week to 4235 +/- 3103 U/week in the EE group. During these period, mean blood pressure, Kt/V urea, and serum beta2-microglobulin were not changed between the two groups.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that vitamin E-bonded hemodialyzer is very useful for improving atherosclerosis from a clinical point of view. As one of the underlying mechanisms, as well as antioxidant effects, we want to address an important role of the improvement of rheology of circulating RBCs, which may also help to reduce the requirement of EPO dose in the treatment of anemia of ESRD patients.

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