Object: To study the effects of the intravenous administration of methylcobalamin, an analogue of vitamin B12, for uremic or uremic-diabetic polyneuropathy in patients who are receiving maintenance hemodialysis. An ultra-high dose of vitamin B12 has been reported to promote peripheral nerve regeneration in experimental neuropathy.
Methods: Nine patients received a 500 microg methylcobalamin injection 3 times a week for 6 months. The effects were evaluated using neuropathic pain grading and a nerve conduction study.
Results: Serum concentrations of vitamin B12 were ultra-high during treatment due to the lack of urinary excretion. After 6 months of treatment, the patients' pain or paresthesia had lessened, and the ulnar motor and median sensory nerve conduction velocities showed significant improvement. There were no side effects.
Conclusion: Intravenous methycobalamin treatment is a safe and potentially beneficial therapy for neuropathy in chronic hemodialysis patients.