Treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) may improve residual renal function (RRF) in hemodialysis patients, data from a small pilot study suggest.

Investigators in Israel enrolled 20 hemodialysis patients with a residual urine output of at least 100 mL/24 hours. The patients took 1,200 mg oral NAC twice daily for two weeks. All patients served as their own control.

Urine volume increased from 320 mL/24 hours at baseline to 430 mL/24 hours at the end of the study, Leonid Feldman, MD, of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Zerifin, and colleagues reported online ahead of print in Hemodialysis International. Residual Kt/V increased from 0.19 to 0.29 and residual glomerular filtration rate increased from 1.6 to 2.4 mL/min/1.73 m2. All increases were statistically significant.

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Previously, in a small pilot study published in Peritoneal Dialysis International (2011;31:545-550), Dr. Feldman and collaborators showed that NAC improved RRF in peritoneal dialysis patients.