Does hepatitis C increase the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in haemodialysis patients?

Stefan Arsov, Reindert Graaff, Aurora M Morariu, Wim van Oeveren, Andries J Smit, Irena Busletic, Lada Trajcevska, Gjulsen Selim, Pavlina Dzekova, Bernd Stegmayr, Aleksandar Sikole, Gerhard Rakhorst
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2010, 25 (3): 885-91

BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C may cause increased levels of oxidative stress that contribute to accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to determine the influence of hepatitis C on AGE accumulation in haemodialysis patients.

METHODS: AGE accumulation was measured by means of skin autofluorescence (AF) in 92 haemodialysis (HD) patients and 93 age-matched healthy controls. In the HD patients, CVD-related biochemical variables were also measured. The HD patients were tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and allocated to a HCV+ or HCV- group.

RESULTS: Skin AF of the healthy subjects was lower than skin AF in the HD patients (3.13 +/- 0.95 vs 2.2 +/- 0.47; P < 0.001). We calculated the average increase of skin AF in the healthy subjects to be 0.017 arbitrary units per year, being 14 times lower than in HD patients with CVD only and 20 times lower than in HD patients suffering from combined CVD and diabetes mellitus (DM). Multivariate regression analysis showed that AGE accumulation in HD patients can be described by the independent effects of age, DM, CVD and HD vintage. Although inter-cellular adhesion molecule 1 and liver enzymes were elevated in HCV+ HD patients, levels of oxidative stress markers and skin AF were not significantly different between HCV+ and HCV- HD patients.

CONCLUSIONS: AGE accumulation was higher in the HD patients than in the healthy controls. AGE accumulation did not differ in HCV+ and HCV- HD patients. This might be due to the fact that hepatitis C did not cause oxidative stress in our HD population. Independent markers of AGE accumulation were age, HD vintage, DM and CVD, but not hepatitis C.

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