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Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis. 2013 Aug 27;6:161-8. doi: 10.2147/IJNRD.S49066. eCollection 2013.

Role of alpha-lipoic acid in the management of anemia in patients with chronic renal failure undergoing hemodialysis.

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Mansoura University Hospitals, Mansoura, Egypt.



Anemia associated with chronic kidney disease is a serious complication necessitating expenditure of huge medical efforts and resources. This study investigates the role of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) in end stage renal disease patients undergoing hemodialysis. By the virtue of its antioxidative effects, ALA is expected to act as an erythropoietin (EPO) adjuvant, and also has extended beneficial effects on endothelial dysfunction.


Forty-four patients undergoing hemodialysis and receiving EPO were randomized into two groups: the first group received ALA 600 mg once daily for 3 months; while the other group represented the control group. Parameters measured at baseline and at end of study were hemoglobin, EPO doses, EPO resistance index (ERI), iron store indices, malondialdehyde, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), as well as routine laboratory follow-up.


EPO doses and ERI were significantly decreased in the treatment group, while they did not change in the control group. Hemoglobin, iron store indices, malondialdehyde, oxidized ox-LDL, IL-6, TNF-α, and ADMA were similar in both treatment and control groups at baseline, and did not change by the end of study period. Likewise, routine laboratory measures were not affected by the treatment.


ALA could be used in hemodialysis patients to reduce requirements for EPO. However, larger and longer term studies are required to clarify the exact role of ALA in hemodialysis as well as in pre-hemodialysis patients.


alpha-lipoic acid; anemia; asymmetric dimethylarginine; erythropoietin; hemodialysis; oxidative stress

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