Folic acid and pyridoxal-5'-phosphate losses during high-efficiency hemodialysis in patients without hydrosoluble vitamin supplementation

J Ren Nutr. 2000 Oct;10(4):196-201. doi: 10.1053/jren.2000.16327.


Objectives: To determine the serum status in folate, pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (the active moiety of pyridoxine), cobalamin, and total homocysteine of chronic dialysis patients not routinely supplemented with B-complex vitamins and to evaluate induced intradialytic losses during high-efficiency hemodialysis.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Setting: A university medical center providing tertiary care.

Patients: Thirty-six chronic dialysis patients (23 men and 13 women, mean age 57+/-13 years) treated since 3.8+/-2.2 years by hemodialysis and not supplemented with hydrosoluble vitamins.

Methods: Thrice-weekly hemodialysis was performed using CT-190G (Baxter, IL) or F-20 (Hospal, St-Leonard, Canada) reused dialyzers with a mean blood flow rate of 371+/-40 mL/min, a dialysate flow rate of 500 mL/min, and a mean session time of 3.7+/-0.4 hours. Prehemodialysis serum vitamin B(12) and homocysteine, and predialysis and postdialysis serum folate, pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, and urea were measured. Blood-side folate and pyridoxal-5'-phosphate clearances were calculated.

Results: Predialysis serum total homocysteine was above normal in all patients, with values ranging from 14.4 to 158.0 micromol/L (mean 40.2+/-29.6 micromol/L, median 33.5 micromol/L). Whereas the majority, 21 patients, had evidence of coronary, cerebrovascular, and/or peripheral vascular diseases, there was no difference in total homocysteine in patients with or without vascular disease (respectively, 40.8+/-37.0 micromol/L v 39.4+/-15.1 micromol/L, P = NS). Predialysis serum concentrations of pyridoxal-5'-phosphate were reduced in 20 patients (56%) and were in the lower normal range for 14 patients. Predialysis and postdialysis serum folate concentrations were 12.4+/-6.1 nmol/L and 8.6 +/- 3.6 nmol/L, whereas predialysis and postdialysis serum pyridoxal-5'-phosphate concentrations were 11.1+/-7.5 nmol/L and 8.0 +/-5.9 nmol/L. Percent reduction ratios were 68.4% +/- 6.6% for urea, 26.3%+/-16.0% for folates, and 27.9%+/-14.2% for pyridoxal-5'-phosphate. Blood-side clearances reached 134.7+/-22.2 mL/min for folates and 54.4+/-38.2 mL/min for pyridoxal-5'-phosphate. There was no significant difference in predialysis serum folate and pyridoxal-5'-phosphate in patients with or without evidence of vascular disease.

Conclusion: This study confirms that: (1) total serum homocysteine levels are very high in chronic hemodialysis patients not supplemented with B-complex vitamins; (2) folate is significantly cleared or lost during high-efficiency hemodialysis; and (3) pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, the active moiety of pyridoxine, is depleted in most chronic hemodialysis patients without supplementation and that high-efficiency hemodialysis contributes to its depletion.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood*
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / blood*
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Solubility
  • Vitamin B Complex / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use


  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate
  • Folic Acid