Acute Rise of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids During Hemodialysis Treatment

Allon N. Friedman, Rafat Siddiqui, Bruce A. Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Hemodialysis patients have an extremely high rate of cardiac arrhythmia-induced sudden cardiac death, although the risk during the hemodialysis procedure is relatively low. A higher blood content of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is believed to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. We performed this study to measure the effect of a single-standard hemodialysis treatment on plasma and erythrocyte omega-3 PUFA levels in chronic hemodialysis patients. Design: This was a prospective, observational study. Setting: The study was performed in one outpatient hemodialysis unit. Patients: Study subjects were all chronic, stable hemodialysis patients. Interventions: There were no interventions. Main Outcome Measures: Plasma and erythrocyte fatty-acid levels were measured before and immediately after a hemodialysis session. Results: Plasma levels of long-chain PUFAs, including the omega-3 fatty acids of interest, all rose, whereas those of shorter-chain or more saturated fatty acids either remained unchanged or fell. A similar trend was seen in erythrocytes, though the results did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: The hemodialysis procedure induces acute increases of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs in the blood. This effect may help explain why malignant cardiac arrhythmias occur relatively infrequently during hemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-303
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nephrology

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