Impact of nocturnal home hemodialysis on anemia management in patients with end-stage renal disease

D I Schwartz, A Pierratos, R M A Richardson, S S A Fenton, C T Chan
Clinical Nephrology 2005, 63 (3): 202-8

AIM: Anemia is adversely associated with poor uremia control and is an established cardiovascular risk factor in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Nocturnal home hemodialysis (NHD) is a novel form of renal replacement therapy that offers superior clearance of uremic solutes and improvements in several cardiovascular outcome parameters. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to test the hypotheses that augmenting the dose and frequency of dialysis by NHD would improve hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations and decrease requirement of erythropoietin (EPO) in ESRD patients.

METHODS: In 63 patients (mean age: 46 +/- 2 years) receiving NHD (mean duration: 2.1 +/- 0.2 years), Hb, EPO dose, iron saturation, ferritin were determined before and at six monthly repeated intervals after conversion to NHD. For comparison, 32 ESRD patients (mean age: 57 +/- 3 years) who remained on self-care conventional hemodialysis (CHD) were also studied.

RESULTS: There were no differences in baseline Hb concentrations, iron saturation, ferritin, or EPO dose between the two cohorts. After transfer from CHD to NHD, there were significant improvements in Hb concentrations (from 115 +/- 2 to 122 +/- 3 (6 months) and 124 +/- 2 (12 months) g/l, p = 0.03) despite a fall in EPO requirement (from 10,400 +/- 1400 to 8500 +/- 1300 (6 months) and 7600 +/- 1100 (12 months) U/week, p = 0.03). In contrast, CHD cohort had no change in EPO requirement (from 8300 +/- 1100 to 8100 +/- 1300 (6 months) and 8600 +/- 1000 (12 months) U/week, p > 0.05) or Hb concentrations (from 110 +/- 2 to 115 +/- 3 (6 months) and 115 +/- 2 (12 months), p > 0.05). There was a higher percentage of ESRD patients who did not require EPO in the NHD cohort (24% vs. 9.4%, p = 0.01). Lower Hb concentrations were noted in the CHD cohort despite higher iron saturation (0.25 +/- 0.01 (NHD) vs. 0.33 +/- 0.02 (CHD), p = 0.02) at the end of follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Enhancing uremic clearance by NHD resulted in a rise in Hb and a fall in EPO requirement.

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