Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a common problem that increases morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients. These patients are also at risk of increased oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate possible interactions between HCV infection and oxidative stress indicators in a group of hemodialysis patients awaiting transplantation. We evaluated 73 patients (29 women, 44 men; ages, 49.3 +/- 13.3 years; dialysis duration, 81.7 +/- 48.8 months; Kt/V >= 1.3). Indicators of plasma oxidative status were monitored at the beginning of a clinically stable hemodialysis session. Measurements were performed for plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and malonyldialdehyde (MDA) by spectrophotometric methods. We retrospectively recorded the prior year's monthly laboratory values for alanine aminotransferase (ALT), C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, lipids, homocysteine, Lp(a), calcium, phosphorus, intact parathyroid hormone, and predialysis blood urea nitrogen (BUN) creatinine, as well as clinical findings of body mass index and pre- and postdialysis blood pressures. We excluded patients with chronic inflammation (mean CRP levels >= 10 mg/L) or HCV infection of duration < 12 months or clinically advanced liver failure. Twenty-six patients had HCV. The sex distribution, mean age, and dialysis duration were similar between groups. HCV-infected patients showed significantly lower levels of MDA, albumin, total cholesterol, triglyceride, predialysis creatinine, and phosphorus. Antioxidative indicator levels were also higher in the HCV group, but they were not statistically significant. In conclusion, HCV infection in dialysis patients is associated with decreased levels of plasma oxidative load.