ABSTRACT: To determine the effects of L-arginine (L-Arg) supplementation on nitric oxide metabolite (NOx) production, oral L-Arg was given to normal controls, sickle cell disease (SCD) patients at steady state and SCD patients hospitalized with a vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC). L-Arg (0.1 g/kg) increased NOx formation by 18.8 +/- 68% in normal controls, whereas steady-state SCD patients demonstrated a paradoxical decrease in NOx of -16.7 +/- 4% (P = 0.004). In contrast, patients with VOC demonstrated a dramatic increase in NOx production by +77.7 +/- 103%, a response that was dose dependent. L-Arg appears to be the rate-limiting step in NOx production during VOC. Oral arginine may therefore benefit SCD patients by inducing an increase in NO production during VOC.
British Journal of Haematology 12/2000; 111(2):498-500. · 4.94 Impact Factor