Objectives Renal anemia is one of the most frequently observed complications in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. Reduced red blood cell survival due to oxidative damage is one of the causes of anemia in these patients. Vitamin E is a natural biological antioxidant, which protects cells from the effects of reactive oxygen metabolites and could be useful as a collateral therapy for anemia in these patients.
The Aim of the present study was to investigate the potential beneficial effect of vitamin E supplementation on renal anemia and to find out whether this improvement mechanism is attributable to the enhanced hematopoietic function or to prolonged RBC life.
Methods This case - control study included 15 stable children on chronic hemodialysis in Mashhad. All of children received subcutaneous erythropoietin 120 u/kg/week, oral folic acid 1 mg/day and iron 2 mg/kg/day. Oral vitamin E 200 u/day was prescribed to the cases only. Laboratory parameters determined at the beginning of the study were: Iron, Ferritin, Transferrin, TIBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Reticulocyte count and peripheral blood smear. Hb and Hct were checked every month during the study and were compared with earliers.
Results Perscription of oral vitamin E for 3 months resulted in significantly higher levels of Hb and Hct in the cases compared to those in the controls (Hb=11.4±1.7 vs. 10.1±1.9 and Hct=35.3 ±5 vs. 31.3±6, P<0.05).
Conclusion Antioxidant vitamin E supplementation improves renal anemia by decrease of oxidative stress and RBC life span in patients under hemodialysis.