AST-120 treatment in pre-dialysis period affects the prognosis in patients on hemodialysis

Ren Fail. 2008;30(9):856-60. doi: 10.1080/08860220802356531.


Background/aims: An oral adsorbent, AST-120, has been shown to retard the deterioration of renal function in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) by decreasing serum nephrotoxic substances such as indoxyl sulfate. Recent studies have suggested that a high level of serum indoxyl sulfate may be one of the mechanisms underlying the progression of atherosclerotic lesion, which is the leading cause of cardiovascular event or death in dialysis patients. In this study, we examined retrospectively whether AST-120 given to patients in the pre-dialysis period influences the prognosis after the initiation of dialysis.

Methods: One hundred and ninety-two CKD patients on dialysis were studied. The survival and causes of death after the initiation of dialysis were compared between patients who were administrated AST-120 (AST-120 group, n = 101) and those not administrated AST-120 (non-AST-120 group, n = 91) prior to the initiation of dialysis.

Results: The five-year survival rate was 72.6% in the AST-120 group and 52.6% in the non-AST-120 group, and was significantly higher in the AST-120 group (p = 0.018). The risk of death was increased 1.91-fold in the non-AST-120 group. However, no difference in the causes of death was observed between two groups.

Conclusion: This study suggests that AST-120 given prior to the initiation of dialysis improves the prognosis of CKD patients under dialysis, although there is no association between AST-120 treatment and death caused by cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, myocardial infarction, and cerebral hemorrhage. Further studies are needed to elucidate the effect of AST-120 on cardiovascular events and the prognosis in dialysis patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carbon / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxides / administration & dosage*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Oxides
  • Carbon
  • AST 120