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J Nephrol. 2004 Jul-Aug;17(4):537-43.

Effects of intravenous ascorbic acid on erythropoiesis and quality of life in unselected hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Nephrology, Saiseikai Nakatsu Hospital, Osaka, Japan.



Intravenous ascorbic acid (IVAA) administration is reported to enhance erythropoiesis in hemodialysis (HD) patients with functional iron deficiency. We explored the effects of IVAA on erythropoiesis and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in unselected HD patients.


Sixty-one HD patients were divided into two groups; 30 patients received 100 mg of IVAA (IVAA group) and 31 patients did not (control group) after each dialysis session. Hematocrit (Hct), reticulocyte hemoglobin content, transferrin saturation, ferritin, weekly recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) dosage, weekly intravenous iron (IVFE) dosage, and MOS Short Form 36 (SF-36) scale scores were measured at baseline and after 6 months of treatment.


Mean changes in Hct in the IVAA and control groups were -0.5 and -0.6 mg/dL, respectively, while mean changes in SF-36 scale scores were: physical functioning -1.6 in the IVAA group and 0.38 in the controls; role physical (RP) 3.8 and 9.4; bodily pain 9.7 and 0.81; general health perception 3.7 and -0.68; vitality 4.3 and -7.5; social functioning 2.7 and 0.43; role emotional (RE) 6.9 and 4.9; mental health 3.6 and -1.7. The IVAA group showed significantly higher adverse events (chest pain: n=1, nausea: n=2 and fatigue: n=2) compared to the controls (no event).


The beneficial effects of IVAA on erythropoiesis and HRQOL were not demonstrated in unselected HD patients. Indication of IVAA for HD patients leaves room for further study.

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