Vitamin B6 deficiency in elderly patients on chronic peritoneal dialysis

Adv Perit Dial. 2000:16:308-12.


Polyneuropathy is one of the most frequent manifestations in chronic uremia. Among the factors related to polyneuropathy, vitamin B6 deficiency is well known. The exact prevalence of vitamin B6 deficiency related to neurological manifestations has not been previously reported. We studied vitamin B6 status, collected self-reported symptoms, and carried out full neurological examinations in 66 patients on chronic peritoneal dialysis. Vitamin B6 status was estimated by direct measurement of pyridoxal phosphate. In general, symptoms related to vitamin B6 deficiency are peripheral neuropathies, such as paresthesia, burning and painful dysesthesias, and thermal sensations. These symptoms were reported and assigned one of five grade scores. Of our 66 patients, 12 patients complained at least one sensory abnormality. The levels of vitamin B6 in the patients varied between 1.0 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL. Patients who complained of neurological symptoms owing to vitamin B6 deficiency were significantly older than the other patients. In analyzing the symptomatic cases before and after vitamin B6 supplementation, a significant correlation was seen between the level of vitamin B6 and symptoms. Within one month after initiation of oral vitamin B6 supplementations (30 mg daily), levels of pyridoxal phosphate rose, and sensory abnormalities improved in 8 of 12 patients. When peripheral neuropathy is suspected in elderly patients on chronic peritoneal dialysis, vitamin B6 deficiency should be taken into consideration as the cause. If vitamin B6 deficiency is appropriately treated by oral supplementation, sensory abnormalities can be eliminated.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paresthesia / diagnosis
  • Paresthesia / etiology
  • Peritoneal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Polyneuropathies / blood
  • Polyneuropathies / etiology
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / blood
  • Pyridoxine / administration & dosage
  • Pyridoxine / blood
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / diagnosis*
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / etiology
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / therapy


  • Pyridoxal Phosphate
  • Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B 12