Plasma oxalate levels in prevalent hemodialysis patients and potential implications for ascorbic acid supplementation

Yuguan Liu, Lawrence S. Weisberg, Craig B. Langman, Amanda Logan, Krystal Hunter, Deepali Prasad, Jose Avila, Thaliga Venkatchalam, Jeffrey S. Berns, Garry J. Handelman, William D. Sirover*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives Ascorbic acid (AA) supplementation may increase hemoglobin levels and decrease erythropoiesis-stimulating agent dose requirement in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). While plasma AA levels > 100 μM may be supratherapeutic, levels of at least 30 μM may be needed to improve wound healing and levels may need to reach 70 μM to optimize erythropoiesis. Of concern, oxalate (Ox), an AA metabolite, can accumulate in ESRD. Historically, if plasma Ox levels remain ≥ 30 μM, oxalosis was of concern. Contemporary hemodialysis (HD) efficiencies may decrease the risk of oxalosis by maintaining pre-HD Ox levels < 30 μM. This study focuses on the plasma Ox levels in HD patients. Design and methods A prospective, observational study of 197 HD patients with pre-HD AA levels and pre-HD and post-HD Ox levels. Results Mean plasma Ox levels decreased 71% during the intradialytic period (22.3 ± 11.1 μM to 6.4 ± 3.2 μM, P < 0.001). In regression analysis, pre-HD plasma AA levels ≤ 100 μM were not associated with a pre-HD plasma Ox level ≥ 30 μM, even if ferritin levels were increased. Pre-HD plasma Ox levels ≥ 20 or ≥ 30 μM were not associated with lower cumulative 4-year survival. Conclusions Pre-HD plasma AA levels up to 100 μM in HD patients do not appear to be associated with an increased risk of developing secondary oxalosis, as the corresponding pre-HD plasma Ox level appears to be maintained at tolerable levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1139
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Ascorbic acid
  • Hemodialysis
  • Nutrition
  • Oxalate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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