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      HFE Gene Mutations and Oxidative Stress Influence Serum Ferritin, Associated with Vascular Damage, in Hemodialysis Patients

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          Background/Aims: Hyperferritinemia has been associated with cardiovascular mortality in hemodialysis patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether serum ferritin was affected by iron and oxidative status and by genetic factors ( HFE mutations and the Ala9Val MnSOD polymorphism), and to assess the association between ferritin and cardiovascular damage evaluated by ecocolor-Doppler. Methods: 63 hemodialysis patients were tested for HFE and MnSOD genotype by restriction analysis and oxidative status; vascular damage was assessed by measuring intima-media thickness, and by detecting plaques at carotid and femoral arteries. Results: Ferritin was correlated with transferrin saturation (p = 0.003), decreased iron-specific serum antioxidant activity (p = 0.01), age (p = 0.03), and C282Y and H63D HFE mutations (p = 0.05), but not with the MnSOD polymorphism. Ferritin was associated with advanced vascular damage, as evaluated by the presence of plaques, both at carotid (p = 0.03) and femoral arteries (p = 0.001), the other risk factors being age and low albumin. Low iron-specific antioxidant activity was associated with carotid plaques (p = 0.03). Conclusion: In hemodialysis patients, hyperferritinemia reflects a relative increase in iron availability and a decrease in iron-specific antioxidant activity, is favored by HFE mutations, and represents a risk factor for advanced cardiovascular damage.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Oxidative stress and cardiovascular injury: Part II: animal and human studies.

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            Iron therapy, advanced oxidation protein products, and carotid artery intima-media thickness in end-stage renal disease.

            Increased common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) is a marker of early atherosclerosis. Low-grade inflammation is associated with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Low-grade inflammation and increased CCA-IMT are observed in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Oxidative stress is involved in uremia-related inflammation. Advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) are markers of oxidant-mediated protein damage in ESRD. Intravenous iron given to patients on hemodialysis (HD) might induce oxidative stress. We investigated the relationships between AOPP, iron therapy, and CCA-IMT in stable HD patients. Plasma AOPP and blood chemistry, including iron status, were analyzed in a cohort of 79 ESRD patients on HD. Measurements of CCA-IMT and CCA diameter, as assessed by B-mode ultrasonography, were obtained in 60 patients. AOPP levels were elevated in ESRD patients, and in univariate (r=0.42, P<0.0001) and multivariate analyses (r=0.38, P<0.001), they correlated with serum ferritin and with the intravenous iron dose received during the 12 months preceding the study (ferritin, P<0001; AOPP, P<0.01). Univariate and multivariate analyses identified the AOPP concentration as being significantly associated with CCA-IMT (P=0.0197) and CCA wall-to-lumen ratio (r=0.560, P<0.0001). Independently of AOPP concentration, cumulative iron dose was positively related to CCA-IMT (P=0.015) in patients <60 years. In ESRD patients, CCA-IMT and CCA wall-to-lumen ratio were associated with plasma AOPP, serum ferritin, and the annual intravenous iron dose administered. These findings support the concept of a role of oxidative stress in the early atherosclerosis of ESRD patients, which may be increased by the usually recommended doses of intravenous iron.
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              Time-dependent associations between iron and mortality in hemodialysis patients.

              The independent association between the indices of iron stores or administered intravenous iron, both of which vary over time, and survival in patients who are on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) is not clear. It was hypothesized that the observed associations between moderately high levels of three iron markers (serum ferritin, iron, and iron saturation ratio) or administered intravenous iron and all-cause and cardiovascular death is due to the time-varying confounding effect of malnutrition-inflammation-cachexia syndrome (MICS). Time-dependent Cox regression models were examined using prospectively collected data of the 2-yr (July 2001 to June 2003) historical cohort of 58,058 MHD patients from virtually all DaVita dialysis clinics in the United States. After time-dependent and multivariate adjustment for case mix, administered intravenous iron and erythropoietin doses, and available surrogates of MICS, serum ferritin levels between 200 and 1200 ng/ml (reference 100 to 199 ng/ml), serum iron levels between 60 and 120 microg/ml (reference 50 to 59 microg/ml), and iron saturation ratio between 30 and 50% (reference 45 to 50%) were associated with the lowest all-cause and cardiovascular death risks. Compared with those who did not receive intravenous iron, administered intravenous iron up to 400 mg/mo was associated with improved survival, whereas doses >400 mg/mo tended to be associated with higher death rates. The association between serum ferritin levels >800 ng/ml and mortality in MHD patients seems to be due mostly to the confounding effects of MICS. For ascertaining whether the observed associations between moderate doses of administered intravenous iron and improved survival are causal or due to selection bias by indication, clinical trials are warranted.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                March 2007
                13 February 2007
                : 27
                : 1
                : 101-107
                Departments of aInternal Medicine, bNephrology, cMedical Sciences, University of Milano, Ospedale Policlinico Mangiagalli e Regina Elena Fondazione IRCCS, Milano, Italy
                99635 Am J Nephrol 2007;27:101–107
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 5, References: 29, Pages: 7
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                Original Report: Patient-Oriented, Translational Research


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