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Clin Nephrol. 2003 Jun;59(6):441-6.

N-acetylcysteine reduces malondialdehyde levels in chronic hemodialysis patients--a pilot study.

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Division of Nephrology and Biochemistry Laboratory, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of endothelial damage in hemodialysis (HD). We have assessed the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a compound with antioxidant effects, on malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of oxidative stress on lipid peroxidation.


A clinical trial was conducted in which 24 chronic HD patients were divided into 2 groups according to gender, age, time on HD and cause of renal failure. The NAC group (n = 12) received 600 mg of NAC twice a day for 30 days. The remaining patients constituted the control group (n = 12). MDA levels were measured pre- and post-dialysis at the beginning of the study (baseline) and on day 30 (30 days).


Baseline pre- and post-dialysis MDA levels were not different between both groups and were above normal values. A significant decrease was found in the NAC group when either pre- or post-dialysis MDA levels were compared to the corresponding control group levels on day 30 (pre-dialysis NAC vs control group 3.01 +/- 0.6 vs 4.5 +/- 0.73 micromol/l, p < 0.0001, post-dialysis NAC vs control group 2.76 +/- 0.5 vs 4.39 +/- 0.7 micromol/l, p < 0.0001). Only in the NAC group were pre-dialysis MDA 30-day levels different from pre-dialysis baseline levels (3.01 +/- 0.6 vs 5.07 +/- 1.6 micromol/l, p < 0.002). Post-dialysis MDA 30-day concentrations were significantly lower than post-dialysis MDA baseline levels (2.76 +/- 0.5 vs 4.32 +/- 0.7 micromol/l, p < 0.002) and pre-dialysis MDA 30-day measurements (2.76 +/- 0.5 vs 3.01 +/- 0.6 micromol/l, p < 0.011).


MDA levels are elevated in chronic HD patients and are not significantly reduced by HD. NAC significantly reduces malondialdehyde levels in chronic HD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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