Hemodialysis causes antioxidant loss leading to long-term complications

An article published in Hemodialysis International discusses the role of oxidative stress (OS) in dialysis patients, an imbalance which can result in long-term health problems. Potential therapeutic options to restore balance in patients are also reviewed.

Oxidative stress, an imbalance between toxic compounds and defense mechanisms, and prevalent in the dialysis process, has been linked to numerous adverse complications in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The imbalance is caused by the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), or toxic compounds, and lack of antioxidants to fight these toxins. In fact, the hemodialysis process can cause loss of these necessary antioxidants.

Many ESRD and hemodialysis patients are in a state of chronic inflammation induced by the dialysis process which further enhances oxidative stress. This state is strongly associated with long-term complications such as cardiovascular disease, malnutrition, poor outcome and low survival.

“It is important to prevent reactive oxygen species production by improving the biocompatibility of the hemodialysis system,” states Dr. Jean-Paul Cristol, corresponding author. Antioxidant supplementation and ROS modulation by specific or non-specific drugs, such as statins, are possible solutions outlined in the article.

“Correction of OS imbalance appears to be a basic requisite to prevent complications in long-term dialysis patients” and is “a promising avenue of research.”

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