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      Effect of Oral Sodium Bicarbonate Supplementation on Interdialytic Weight Gain, Plasma Sodium Concentrations and Predialysis Blood Pressure in Hemodialysis Patients

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          Background: Correction of metabolic acidosis in dialysis patients should be considered of paramount importance. However, consuming sodium bicarbonate tablets during the interdialytic interval to reach predialysis bicarbonate levels of 23–24 mmol/l is not widespread due to the fear of greater interdialytic weight gain and fluid overload. For this reason we investigated in a cross-sectional and in an interventional study the effect of oral sodium bicarbonate supplementation on body weight gain, plasma sodium concentrations and predialysis blood pressure in a group of stable uremic patients on regular hemodialysis (HD) treatment. Study Design: 110 patients (67 men, 43 women), mean age 67 ± 15 (range 22–89) years, on regular chronic HD treatment for 6–372 (median 48) months were studied. 70 patients were on regular oral bicarbonate supplementation for at least 4 weeks (group A), 40 patients were not on oral bicarbonate supplementation (group B). The following parameters were recorded: dry body weight (DBW), interdialytic weight gain (IWG), body mass index (BMI), plasma sodium (Na), serum pH, serum bicarbonate (sBic), K<sub>t</sub>/V, normalized protein catabolic rate (PCRn), predialysis systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure, and bicarbonate therapy (g/day). 18 patients not on oral bicarbonate supplementation with sBic levels ≤20 mmol/l were started on oral bicarbonate therapy and were prospectively followed in the context of an interventional study of correction of chronic metabolic acidosis. The same parameters were recorded before (pre) and after (post) 4 months of oral bicarbonate supplementation. Results:Serum pH and sBic concentrations were significantly higher in patients in group A compared to patients in group B (pH 7.37 ± 0.02 group A vs. 7.33 ± 0.02 group B: p <0.001: sBic 23.8 ± 1.4 group A vs. 20.9 ± 1.4 group B: p < 0.0001). Age, DBW, BMI, IWG, SBP, DBP, Na, K<sub>t</sub>/V and PCRn did not differ between groups. The mean daily dose of oral sodium bicarbonate administered to patients in group A was 1.9 ± 0.9 (range 1–5, median 2) g/day. Also in the 18 patients who started bicarbonate treatment, a significant increase in serum pH and sBic concentrations and a significant reduction in PCRn were observed. No significant change in DBW, IWG, SBP, DBP and Na concentrations after 4 months of treatment was found. Conclusions: Our data show that in stable uremic patients on regular HD treatment, oral daily administration of sodium bicarbonate is effective in correcting mild-moderate chronic metabolic acidosis, and does not cause increased interdialytic body weight gain, different plasma sodium concentrations and different systolic-diastolic blood pressure levels compared to patients not on oral sodium bicarbonate supplementation.

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          Chronic metabolic acidosis decreases albumin synthesis and induces negative nitrogen balance in humans.

          Chronic metabolic acidosis has been previously shown to stimulate protein degradation. To evaluate the effects of chronic metabolic acidosis on nitrogen balance and protein synthesis we measured albumin synthesis rates and urinary nitrogen excretion in eight male subjects on a constant metabolic diet before and during two different degrees of chronic metabolic acidosis (NH4Cl 2.1 mmol/kg body weight, low dose group, and 4.2 mmol/kg body weight, high dose group, orally for 7 d). Albumin synthesis rates were measured by intravenous injection of [2H5ring]phenylalanine (43 mg/kg body weight, 7.5 atom percent and 15 atom percent, respectively) after an overnight fast. In the low dose group, fractional synthesis rates of albumin decreased from 9.9 +/- 1.0% per day in the control period to 8.4 +/- 0.7 (n.s.) in the acidosis period, and from 8.3 +/- 1.3% per day to 6.3 +/- 1.1 (P < 0.001) in the high dose group. Urinary nitrogen excretion increased significantly in the acidosis period (sigma delta 634 mmol in the low dose group, 2,554 mmol in the high dose group). Plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I, free thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine were significantly lower during acidosis. In conclusion, chronic metabolic acidosis causes negative nitrogen balance and decreases albumin synthesis in humans. The effect on albumin synthesis may be mediated, at least in part, by a suppression of insulin-like growth factor-I, free thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine.
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            Metabolic acidosis and skeletal muscle adaptation to low protein diets in chronic uremia.

            To maintain nitrogen equilibrium when prescribed a low protein diet (LPD), metabolic adaptations occur involving a reduction protein turnover, principally decreased muscle protein degradation. Studies suggest that in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) uncomplicated by metabolic acidosis (MA), these adaptive responses are intact. Because MA stimulates muscle proteolysis, this study examined the hypothesis that in CRF complicated by MA, the adaptation to LPD may be impaired, inducing a nitrogen wasting state. Six adults with CRF (mean GFR: 12.8 +/- 1.5 ml/min) and MA (mean serum bicarbonate: 17.0 +/- 1.0 mM/liter) receiving an unrestricted diet (protein intake: 1.2 g/kg body wt/day) were converted to an isocaloric LPD (protein: 0.6 g/kg body wt/day). Two weeks later total urinary nitrogen losses decreased, but skeletal muscle protein catabolism (SMPC), assessed from the urinary 3-methyl histidine:creatinine ratio, increased, demonstrating impairment in the adaptive down-regulation of SMPC. The LPD was continued for a further two weeks and MA was corrected with oral sodium bicarbonate (mean serum bicarbonate: 24.3 +/- 1.2 mM/liter). Correcting MA decreased SMPC to a level below that measured prior to protein restriction. The decreased SMPC was paralleled by further decreases in urinary nitrogen losses, confirming that MA impaired nitrogen utilization. It is concluded that MA can override the expected metabolic adaptive response to a LPD. The associated impairment of nitrogen utilization not only diminishes the efficacy of the diet, but also accelerates the loss of lean body mass.
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              Correction of metabolic acidosis increases serum albumin concentrations and decreases kinetically evaluated protein intake in haemodialysis patients: a prospective study.

              Metabolic acidosis in haemodialysis (HD) patients increases whole body protein degradation while the correction of acidosis reduces it. However, the effects of the correction of acidosis on nutrition have not been clearly demonstrated. In this study we have evaluated the effects of 3 months of correction of metabolic acidosis by oral sodium bicarbonate supplementation on protein catabolic rate (PCRn) and serum albumin concentrations in 12 uraemic patients on maintenance HD for at least 6 months (median 49 months; range 6-243 months). Pre-dialysis serum bicarbonate, arterial pH, serum albumin, total serum proteins, serum creatinine, plasma sodium, haemoglobin, PCRn, Kt/V, and TACurea, were evaluated before and after correction. Serum bicarbonate levels and arterial pH increased respectively from 19.3 +/- 0.6 mmol/l to 24.4 +/- 1.2 mmol/l (P < 0.0001) and 7.34 +/- 0.03 to 7.40 +/- 0.02 (P < 0.0001). Serum albumin increased from 34.9 +/- 2.1 g/l to 37.9 +/- 2.9 g/l (P < 0.01), while PCRn decreased from 1.11 +/- 0.17 g/kg/day to 1.03 +/- 0.17 g/kg/day (P < 0.001). No changes in Kt/V, total serum proteins, serum creatinine, plasma sodium, haemoglobin, body weight, pre dialysis systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and intradialytic weight loss were observed. Our data demonstrate that correction of metabolic acidosis improves serum albumin concentrations in HD patients. The correction of acidosis induces a decrease in PCRn values, as evaluated by kinetic criteria, suggesting that in the presence of moderate to severe acidosis this parameter does not reflect the real dietary protein intake of the patients probably as a result of increased catabolism of endogenous proteins. The correction of metabolic acidosis should be considered of paramount importance in HD patients.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                August 2005
                25 August 2005
                : 23
                : 5
                : 379-383
                Chair and Division of Nephrology, Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Italy
                87195 Blood Purif 2005;23:379–383
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Tables: 3, References: 12, Pages: 5
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