Background/Aims: To explore the efficacy of oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC) supplementation for anemia and oxidative stress in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Methods: Of the eligible patients (n = 325) in an outpatient HD unit, 49 received NAC 200 mg orally thrice a day during the first 3 months, while the other 276 patients not receiving NAC were observed. Results: During the 4-month study, 11 patients receiving NAC withdrew but had no severe adverse effects, while 49 patients not receiving NAC had negative confounding events. Thus only the data of the remaining patients, 38 taking NAC and 227 not taking NAC, were analyzed for efficacy. The demographic and laboratory data of both groups were similar at baseline. When the erythropoietin dosage was stable throughout, only the NAC group had a significant increase in hematocrit, accompanied with a decrease in plasma levels of 8-isoprostane and oxidized low-density lipoprotein. Analyzed as a nested case-control study, NAC supplementation was also found to be a significant predictor of positive outcomes in uremic anemia. Conclusions: Oral NAC supplementation may be a promising therapy for uremic anemia and oxidative stress in HD patients.
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