Journal Article
Observational Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Arrhythmia in chronic hemodialysis as a function of predialysis electrolytes and interdialytic interval.

INTRODUCTION: People with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis are at increased risk for death due to arrhythmia associated with the prolonged interdialytic interval that typically spans the weekend, with bradycardia being the arrhythmia most closely associated with sudden death. In this prospective observational study we assessed whether predialysis fluid and electrolytes values including hyperkalemia are risk factors for the arrhythmias associated with the prolonged interdialytic interval.

METHODS: Sixty patients on hemodialysis with a history of hyperkalemia underwent cardiac monitoring for 1 week. Arrhythmia frequency, average QTc interval, and average root mean square of successive differences (rMSSD) per 4-h period were reported. Predialysis electrolytes and electrocardiograms were collected prior to pre- and post-weekend dialysis sessions. Clinical variables were assessed for correlation with arrhythmias.

FINDINGS: Predialysis hyperkalemia occurred in 29 subjects and was more common at the post-weekend dialysis session. Bradycardia occurred in 11 subjects and increased before and during the post-weekend dialysis session, but was not correlated with any electrolyte or clinical parameter. Ventricular ectopy occurred in 50 subjects with diurnal variation unrelated to dialysis. Pre-dialysis prolonged QTc was common and not affected by interdialytic interval. Average QTc increased and rMSSD decreased during dialysis sessions and were not correlated with clinical parameters.

DISCUSSION: The results confirm that arrhythmias are prevalent in dialysis subjects with bradycardia particularly associated with the longer interdialytic interval; EKG markers of arrhythmia risk are increased during dialysis independent of interdialytic interval. Larger sample size and/or longer recording may be necessary to identify the clinical parameters responsible.

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