Journal Article

Improvement of endothelial function in uraemic patients on peritoneal dialysis: a possible role for 5-MTHF administration

Ivano Baragetti, Sara Raselli, Andrea Stucchi, Veronica Terraneo, Silvia Furiani, Laura Buzzi, Katia Garlaschelli, Elena Alberghini, Alberico L. Catapano and Gherardo Buccianti

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 22, issue 11, pages 3292-3297
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Improvement of endothelial function in uraemic patients on peritoneal dialysis: a possible role for 5-MTHF administration

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Background. Hyperhomocysteinaemia is an independent risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, homocysteine induces endothelial dysfunction by an increased inactivation of nitric oxide. In patients with chronic renal failure, the administration of folic acid or its metabolites reduces but does not normalize plasma homocysteine concentrations.

Methods. We examined the effect of oral treatment with 15 mg/daily of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) for 12 weeks, on homocysteinaemia and endothelial function in 19 patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis and compared them, for the same period of time, to a control group of patients on peritoneal dialysis. Endothelial function was evaluated by B-mode ultrasonography on the brachial artery. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was recorded during reactive hyperaemia produced by the inflation of a pneumatic tourniquet. Nitroglycerine-mediated dilation (NMD) was recorded after sublingual administration of glyceryl trinitrate. Finally, oxidative stress was assessed by evaluating the conjugated dienes plasma levels.

Results. Plasma homocysteine concentrations fell by 30% after oral treatment with 5-MTHF. Endothelial function improved significantly after oral 5-MTHF treatment (13.8 ± 1.2% vs 11.4 ± 1.4%; P < 0.02) while in the control group we observed a worsening of basal values from 12.1 ± 2.66% to 8.7 ± 2.90% (P < 0.02). The conjugated dienes plasma levels did not change either.

Conclusions. Our study demonstrated that 5-MTHF administration improves endothelial dysfunction in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis. This effect appears to be independent of the reduction in homocysteine plasma levels.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; endothelial function; 5-methyltetrahydrofolate; plasma homocysteine; peritoneal dialysis

Journal Article.  3115 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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