Uremic toxicity, oxidative stress, and hemodialysis as renal replacement therapy

Semin Dial. Nov-Dec 2009;22(6):636-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2009.00659.x.


Patients with uremia are subject to greatly increased cardiovascular risk that cannot be completely explained by traditional cardiovascular risk factors. An increase in oxidative stress and inflammation has been proposed as contributory nontraditional uremic cardiovascular risk factors. Oxidative stress reflects the balance between oxidant generation and antioxidant defense mechanisms. Reduction/oxidation (redox) reactions may result in a stochastic process leading to oxidation of neighboring macromolecules. However, in many instances the reactive oxygen species target particular amino acid residues or lipid moieties. This provides a mechanism by which increased oxidative stress and/or alteration of antioxidant mechanisms can alter cell signaling. In individuals with advanced chronic kidney disease, the redox balance is not in equilibrium and is tipped toward oxidation resulting in the dysregulation of cellular process with subsequent vascular and tissue injury. In this review, the major oxidant and antioxidant pathways and the biomarkers to assess redox status in uremia are discussed, as well as the data linking the pathogenesis of oxidative stress, inflammation, cardiovascular events, and the progressive loss of kidney function in chronic kidney disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Kidneys, Artificial
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Renal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Uremia / complications
  • Uremia / metabolism*
  • Uremia / physiopathology*
  • Uremia / therapy


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Reactive Oxygen Species