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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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January 2006
M. Koren-Michowitz, N. Rahimi-Levene, Y. Volcheck, O. Garach-Jehoshua and A. Kornberg.
September 2005
G. Twig, E. Zimlichman, M. Szyper-Kravitz and G. Zandman-Goddard
August 2004
V. Pengo, C. Pegoraro and S. Iliceto

Classic anticoagulant drugs, such as heparin and warfarin, are very effective. Although in use for more than 50 years, they have some clinical drawbacks. Heparin, now better termed unfractionated heparin, can only be used intravenously and its laboratory control is complicated. Warfarin is orally administered, but its therapeutic window is very narrow and patients need repeated laboratory tests. Moreover, both drugs are non-specific, as they inhibit the coagulation cascade at several steps. Pharmaceutic research has developed new drugs, some of which are already on the market, such as fondaparinux, a pentasaccharide that can interact with antithrombin, thus inhibiting factor Xa. This pentasaccharide is part of the parent heparin molecule and can be chemically synthesized, with the advantage of avoiding extractive compounds. Fondaparinux has a half-life compatible with once-a-day administration; modification of its structure (idraparinux) has led to more stable binding with antithrombin and to an increase in its half-life to allow once-a-week administration. Alternatives to oral anticoagulants have been developed following the study of some compounds like hirudin, which directly binds thrombin and blocks its catalytic site. One of these molecules, ximelagatran, is in advanced clinical development. Ximelagatran is converted into its active form, melagatran, in the circulation, and thrombin activity can be blocked by oral administration twice daily. There is no need for laboratory control and phase II and phase III studies are encouraging. The next few years should bring great changes in the treatment of patients with thromboembolic disorders.

April 2004
F. Nakhoul, Z. Abassi, M. Plawner, E. Khankin, R. Ramadan, N. Lanir, B. Brenner and J. Green

Background: Hyperhomocysteinemia is a well-recognized risk factor for accelerated atherosclerosis in hemodialysis patients.

Objectives: To examine the effects of two doses of vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid on homocysteine levels in hemodialysis patients and assess the functional impact of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotype on the response to treatment.

Methods: In a randomized prospective study, we assessed the effects of folic acid and two doses of B-vitamins in 50 hemodialysis patients with hyperhomocysteinemia. Patients were divided into two groups: 26 patients (group A) who received 25 mg of vitamin B6 daily and one monthly injection of 200 µg vitamin B12, and 24 patients (group B) who received 100 mg of vitamin B6 daily and one monthly injection of 1,000 µg vitamin B12. In addition, both groups received 15 mg folic acid daily. Patients were evaluated for homocysteine levels as well as for coagulation and a thorough lipid profile. Baseline Hcy[1] levels were determined after at least 4 weeks washout from all folic acid and B-vitamins that were given. MFTHR[2] alleles were analyzed, as were activated protein C resistance, von Willebrand factor and lupus anticoagulant.

Results: Basal plasma Hcy levels were significantly elevated in hemodialysis patients compared with normal subjects (33.8 ± 4.3 vs. 4.5 to 14.0 mmol/L). Following treatment, Hcy levels were significantly reduced to 21.2 ± 1.6 in group A and 18.6 ± 1.4 mmol/L in group B (P < 0.01). There was no difference in Hcy reduction following the administration of either high or low dosage of vitamins B6 and B12 utilized in the present study. There was no correlation between Hcy levels or thrombophilia and high incidence of thrombotic episodes in hemodialysis patients. Genotypic evaluation of MTHFR revealed that the presence of homozygous thermolabile MTHFR (n = 5) was associated with higher Hcy levels and better response to treatment (Hcy levels decreased by 58%, from 46.2 ± 14.6 to 19.48 ± 4.1 mmol/L following treatment). In patients with heterozygous thermolabile MTHFR (n = 25), Hcy levels decreased by 34%, from 31.2 ± 3.7 to 18.1 ± 1.1 mmol/L following treatment. The efficacy of high and low doses of B-vitamins on the reduction of homocysteine levels was comparable.

Conclusions: Treatment with B-vitamins in combination with folic acid significantly decreased homocysteine levels in hemodialysis patients, independently of the tested doses. In addition, mutations in MTHFR were associated with elevated plasma levels of Hcy. Neither vascular access nor.

[1] Hcy = homocysteine

[2] MTHFR = methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase

November 2002
Liat Nadav, MD, Benjamin Geiger, PhD and Ben-Zion Katz, PhD
Alexander Gorshtein, MD, Yair Levy, MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD
October 2002
Veronica Silva Vilela, MD, Nilson Ramirez de Jesus, MD and Roger Abramino Levy, MD, PhD
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