The International Journal of Artificial Organs

Dextrose solution for priming and rinsing the extracorporeal circuit in hemodialysis patients: A prospective pilot study.

Paul A Rootjes, Erik Lars Penne, Georges Ouellet, Yanna Dou, Stephan Thijssen, Peter Kotanko, Jochen G Raimann

Introduction: Excess sodium intake and consequent volume overload are major clinical problems in hemodialysis (HD) contributing to adverse outcomes. Saline used for priming and rinsing of the extracorporeal circuit is a potentially underappreciated source of intradialytic sodium gain. We aimed to examine the feasibility and clinical effects of replacing saline as the priming and rinsing fluid by a 5% dextrose solution.

Materials and methods: We enrolled non-diabetic and anuric stable HD patients. First, the extracorporeal circuit was primed and rinsed with approximately 200-250 mL of isotonic saline during 4 weeks (Phase 1), subsequently a similar volume of a 5% dextrose solution replaced the saline for another 4 weeks (Phase 2), followed by another 4 weeks of saline (Phase 3). We collected data on interdialytic weight gain (IDWG), pre- and post-dialysis blood pressure, intradialytic symptoms, and thirst.

Results: Seventeen chronic HD patients (11 males, age 54.1 ± 18.7 years) completed the study. The average priming and rinsing volumes were 236.7 ± 77.5 and 245.0 ± 91.8 mL respectively. The mean IDWG did not significantly change (2.52 ± 0.88 kg in Phase 1; 2.28 ± 0.70 kg in Phase 2; and 2.51 ± 1.2 kg in Phase 3). No differences in blood pressures, intradialytic symptoms or thirst were observed.

Conclusions: Replacing saline by 5% dextrose for priming and rinsing is feasible in stable HD patients and may reduce intradialytic sodium loading. A non-significant trend toward a lower IDWG was observed when 5% dextrose was used. Prospective studies with a larger sample size and longer follow-up are needed to gain further insight into the possible effects of using alternate priming and rinsing solutions lowering intradialytic sodium loading.

Trial registration: Identifier NCT01168947 (

About the Contributors

Dr. Peter Kotanko, MD

RRI Research Director

SVP, Corporate Research & Development

Peter Kotanko, MD, is Research Director at the Renal Research Institute (RRI), New York. Prior to joining RRI, from 1997 to 2007 he served as vice chair of a department of internal medicine at an academic teaching hospital in Graz, Austria. Prior to moving to Graz in 1989, he worked from 1982 to 1989 in the Department of Physiology and the University Clinic of Internal Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria. From 1995 to 1996 he trained in nephrology at the Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Jochen G. Raimann, MD, PhD, MPH

Senior Manager, Clinical Data Analytics

Jochen has worked as a full-time scientist at RRI since his start as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2007. As Senior Manager of Clinical Data Analytics, Jochen conducts epidemiological research in dialysis and oversees many analytical projects. He has first- and co-authored numerous papers and also serves as Associate Editor of the journals Trials and Scientific Reports. Jochen earned his MD from the Medical University Graz, his PhD from Maastricht University...

Stephan Thijssen, MD

Vice President, Applied and Basic Research

Prior to coming to New York, Stephan worked in the Nephrology Department at the University Hospital Homburg, Germany. He joined RRI in 2005. Stephan brings more than one and a half decades of research experience to the RRI team, covering laboratory research, clinical research, epidemiology research, and mathematical modeling.