SAN DIEGO—Oral vitamin C supplementation may be effective at decreasing erythropoietin requirement in hemodialysis (HD) patients with functional iron deficiency, according to findings presented at Kidney Week.
Vitamin C acts as a reducing agent and enhances mobilization of the ferrous form of iron to transferrin, thereby increasing its bioavailability, Tanjim Sultana, MD, and colleagues at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York explained.
Dr. Sultana’s group prospectively studied 22 stable HD patients with functional iron deficiency, defined as a transferrin saturation (TSAT) less than 30% and ferritin levels greater than 100 mcg/L with EPO requirement of 4,000 units/HD session. Patients received 250 mg of oral vitamin C daily for 3 months.
The mean EPO dose declined by a significant 867 units/HD session in 15 subjects In 7 responders, the EPO dose declined by 33% from baseline. Despite adjustment of EPO dose, the mean hemoglobin level increased significantly from 10.1 to 10.7 mg/dL. The researchers observed no significant change in TSAT and ferritin levels.