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Atherosclerosis in Kidney Transplant Patients May Be Reversible.

Vitamin supplementation in kidney transplant patients corrects hyperhomocysteinemia, a risk factor for atherosclerosis, and can even reverse neck artery narrowing, Italian researchers reported.

Maurizio Salvadori, MD from Careggi University Hospital in Tuscany, Italy presented ultrasound findings in 56 renal transplant recipients (mean age 48) who had high homocysteine levels after transplantation (mean duration 44 months). Patients were randomized to a daily regimen of vitamin B6 50 mg, vitamin B12 400 [micro]g, and folic acid 5 mg or placebo and underwent carotid ultrasound at baseline and after 6 months of treatment .

Vitamin therapy not only corrected hyperhomocysteinemia, it also decreased carotid artery occlusion, Salvadori reported. Fasting homocysteine levels dropped from 21.8 [micro]mol/L at baseline to 9.2 [micro]mol/L after 6 months of vitamin therapy but remained unchanged in the placebo group. Similarly, carotid artery intimal media thickness dropped from 0.95 mm to 0.64 mm in the vitamin-therapy patients-a 32% decrease in wall thickness-but did not change in the patients given placebo. "There was even a trend toward increased [carotid artery wall] thickness in the placebo group," Salvadori noted.

"We plan to continue follow-up of these patients out to 3 years," Salvadori said. "That way we will see if there is real clinical significance."
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Comment:Atherosclerosis in Kidney Transplant Patients May Be Reversible.
Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Jun 14, 2003
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