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      Effect of N-Acetylcysteine on Endothelial Dysfunction in Dialysis Patients

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          Abstract

          Background/Aims: Patients with K/DOQI stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) have higher incidence of cardiovascular events due to the oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction (ED). The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which might prevent cardiovascular events by improving oxidative stress on endothelial cells in patients with CKD. Methods: Thirty uremic patients (age 40 ± 12 years, 6 males) on hemodialysis (HD) were evaluated for ED by using high-resolution Doppler ultrasound of brachial artery before and after 6 weeks of oral NAC (2 × 600 mg) medication. Also, 13 healthy controls (35 ± 9 years, 5 males) were included in the study. Reactive hyperemia following 5 min forearm ischemia was accepted as endothelium-dependent vasodilatation (flow-mediated dilatation; FMD) and compared to endothelium-independent vasodilatation in response to sublingual glyceril trinitrate (GTN). Results: Patients on HD had lower ΔFMD (0.28 ± 0.17 vs. 0.41 ± 0.11, p < 0.05) and FMD% (7.5 ± 5.05 vs. 11.33 ± 2.95, p < 0.05) than the controls. Baseline ΔGTN and GTN% were similar in two groups. NAC treatment significantly increased the ΔFMD (0.41 ± 0.11, p < 0.001 vs. baseline) and FMD% (10.59 ± 3.22, p < 0.01 vs. baseline) of patients on HD, while it had no effect on ΔGTN and GTN%. Conclusion: These results suggest that NAC treatment could improve the ED by preventing the reduction of FMD in patients on HD.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Clinical epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in chronic renal disease.

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            The elephant in uremia: oxidant stress as a unifying concept of cardiovascular disease in uremia.

            Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in uremic patients. In large cross-sectional studies of dialysis patients, traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia have been found to have low predictive power, while markers of inflammation and malnutrition are highly correlated with cardiovascular mortality. However, the pathophysiology of the disease process that links uremia, inflammation, and malnutrition with increased cardiovascular complications is not well understood. We hereby propose the hypothesis that increased oxidative stress and its sequalae is a major contributor to increased atherosclerosis and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality found in uremia. This hypothesis is based on studies that conclusively demonstrate an increased oxidative burden in uremic patients, before and particularly after renal replacement therapies, as evidenced by higher concentrations of multiple biomarkers of oxidative stress. This hypothesis also provides a framework to explain the link that activated phagocytes provide between oxidative stress and inflammation (from infectious and non-infections causes) and the synergistic role that malnutrition (as reflected by low concentrations of albumin and/or antioxidants) contributes to the increased burden of cardiovascular disease in uremia. We further propose that retained uremic solutes such as beta-2 microglobulin, advanced glycosylated end products (AGE), cysteine, and homocysteine, which are substrates for oxidative injury, further contribute to the pro-atherogenic milieu of uremia. Dialytic therapy, which acts to reduce the concentration of oxidized substrates, improves the redox balance. However, processes related to dialytic therapy, such as the prolonged use of catheters for vascular access and the use of bioincompatible dialysis membranes, can contribute to a pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative state and thus to a pro-atherogenic state. Anti-oxidative therapeutic strategies for patients with uremia are in their very early stages; nonetheless, early studies demonstrate the potential for significant efficacy in reducing cardiovascular complications.
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              Long-term follow-up of patients with mild coronary artery disease and endothelial dysfunction.

              Coronary endothelial dysfunction is characterized by vasoconstrictive response to the endothelium-dependent vasodilator acetylcholine. Although endothelial dysfunction is considered an early phase of coronary atherosclerosis, there is a paucity of information regarding the outcome of these patients. Thus, this study was designed to evaluate the outcome of patients with mild coronary artery disease on the basis of their endothelial function. Follow-up was obtained in 157 patients with mildly diseased coronary arteries who had undergone coronary vascular reactivity evaluation by graded administration of intracoronary acetylcholine, adenosine, and nitroglycerin and intracoronary ultrasound at the time of diagnostic study. Patients were divided on the basis of their response to acetylcholine into 3 groups: group 1 (n=83), patients with normal endothelial function; group 2 (n=32), patients with mild endothelial dysfunction; and group 3 (n=42), patients with severe endothelial dysfunction. Over an average 28-month follow-up (range, 11 to 52 months), none of the patients from group 1 or 2 had cardiac events. However, 6 (14%) with severe endothelial dysfunction had 10 cardiac events (P<0.05 versus groups 1 and 2). Cardiac events included myocardial infarction, percutaneous or surgical coronary revascularization, and/or cardiac death. Severe endothelial dysfunction in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease is associated with increased cardiac events. This study supports the concept that coronary endothelial dysfunction may play a role in the progression of coronary atherosclerosis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BPU
                Blood Purif
                10.1159/issn.0253-5068
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                0253-5068
                1421-9735
                2007
                September 2007
                20 July 2007
                : 25
                : 4
                : 309-315
                Affiliations
                Departments of aNephrology and bRadiology, Osmangazi University Medical School, Eskisehir, Turkey
                Article
                106103 Blood Purif 2007;25:309–315
                10.1159/000106103
                17643057
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 39, Pages: 7
                Categories
                Original Paper

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