Background: The main cause of death in hemodialysis patients is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Chronic inflammation is strongly related with CVD, atherosclerosis, and malnutrition in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. We aimed to investigate the effect of pentoxifylline on adequacy of dialysis, anemia, inflammatory cytokines, and biochemical markers in patients with ESRD on hemodialysis.
Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial with a negative result conducted on 42 hemodialysis patients. The patients were randomly divided to two groups; intervention group (400 mg pentoxifylline every night for three months) and control group (followed up without taking pentoxifylline). The blood samples were taken to measure the levels of inflammatory cytokines, anemia-related parameters, and biochemical markers at baseline and the end of treatment.
Results: Thirty-six patients finished the study (18 patients in each group). There was significant reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP) [9.25 (4.60, 17.62) vs. 5.60 (1.90, 11.52), p = 0.048] and TNF-α [28.06 (19.76, 61.22) vs. 18.06 (14.39, 28.97), p = 0.029], and significant increase of albumin levels (4.05 ± 0.25 vs. 4.35 ± 0.24, p = 0.000) in the intervention group, but these changes were not significant in comparison with the control group. No statistically significant difference was observed between intervention and control groups in other parameters.
Conclusions: Although pentoxifylline administration had caused significant reduction in CRP and TNF-α, as well as significant increase of albumin levels in the intervention group, but these changes were not significant in comparison with control group. The current study does not support the use of pentoxifylline in hemodialysis patients.