5-methyltetrahydrofolate administration is associated with prolonged survival and reduced inflammation in ESRD patients.
Am J Nephrol. 2008;28(6):941-8. Epub 2008 Jun 30. PMID: 18587236
Nephrology Dialysis and Renal Transplantation Unit, S.Orsola University Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
BACKGROUND: Hemodialysis (HD) patients have a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. For this reason, attempts are often made to normalize hyperhomocysteinemia. This randomized prospective study sought to determine which risk factors are predictors of mortality and whether high doses of folates or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) could improve hyperhomocysteinemia and survival in HD patients.
METHODS: 341 patients were divided into two groups: group A was treated with 50 mg i.v. 5-MTHF, and group B was treated with 5 mg/day oral folic acid. Both groups received i.v. vitamin B(6) and B(12). By dividing patients into C-reactive protein (CRP) quartiles, group A had the highest survival for CRP<12 mg/l, whereas no survival difference was found for group B. CRP was the only predictive risk factor for death (RR 1.17, range 1.04-1.30, p = 0.02). Dialysis age, hyperhomocysteinemia, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism, albumin, lipoprotein (a) and folate did not influence mortality risk. Survival in group A was higher than that in group B, namely 36.2 +/- 20.9 vs. 26.1 +/- 22.2 months (p = 0.003).
RESULTS: Our results suggest that CRP, but not hyperhomocysteinemia, is the main risk factor for mortality in HD patients receiving vitamin supplements. Intravenous 5-MTHF seems to improve survival in HD patients independent from homocysteine lowering.