Effect of vitamin E on lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis in ESRD patients

Kidney Int Suppl. 1999 Jul;71:S126-9.


Background: Oxidative stress is enhanced in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing hemodialysis (HD). Bioincompatibility represents an important source of reactive oxygen species. HD patients exhibit altered anti-oxidative defences and anti-oxidative vitamins such as vitamin E and C are altered in uremia. Frequently, HD patients also suffer from atherosclerotic cardiac disease. We have previously reported that low density lipoprotein (LDL) of HD patients is rich in malondialdehyde (MDA), an end product of lipid peroxidation. MDA rich LDL is thought to be an atherogenic lipoprotein due to its enhancement of macrophage foam cell formation.

Methods: We conducted a controlled study for two years comparing the effects of a vitamin E coated cellulose membrane dialyzer and an ordinary cellulose membrane dialyzer on lipid metabolism and the progress of atherosclerosis. LDL-MDA and oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) were measured in HD patients using these two types of dialyzers. Plasma vitamin E and lipid concentrations were also evaluated. The aortic calcification index (ACI) was evaluated by CT scan to assess the progress of atherosclerosis before and for every year after treatment.

Results: Use of a vitamin E coated cellulose membrane dialyzer for six months, one year and two years resulted in a significant reduction in LDL-MDA and ox-LDL compared to the ordinary cellulose membrane dialyzer. Treatment with a vitamin E-coated dialyzer significantly reduced the percentage increase in ACI after 24 months compared to the control. There were no significant changes in plasma vitamin E and lipid concentrations between the two groups.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the oxidative stress could be one of the stimulating factors of abnormal lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis in ESRD patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Diseases / etiology
  • Aortic Diseases / pathology
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Calcinosis / etiology
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*


  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Vitamin E
  • Malondialdehyde