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Kidney International Reports

Dialysis-Induced Cardiovascular and Multiorgan Morbidity.

Bernard Canaud, Jeroen P. Kooman, Nicholas M. Selby, Maarten W. Taal, Susan Francis, Andreas Maierhofer, Pascal Kopperschmidt, Allan Collins, Peter Kotanko

Hemodialysis has saved many lives, albeit with significant residual mortality. Although poor outcomes may reflect advanced age and comorbid conditions, hemodialysis per se may harm patients, contributing to morbidity and perhaps mortality. Systemic circulatory “stress” resulting from hemodialysis treatment schedule may act as a disease modifier, resulting in a multiorgan injury superimposed on preexistent comorbidities. New functional intradialytic imaging (i.e., echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) and kinetic of specific cardiac biomarkers (i.e., Troponin I) have clearly documented this additional source of end-organ damage. In this context, several factors resulting from patient-hemodialysis interaction and/or patient management have been identified. Intradialytic hypovolemia, hypotensive episodes, hypoxemia, solutes, and electrolyte fluxes as well as cardiac arrhythmias are among the contributing factors to systemic circulatory stress that are induced by hemodialysis. Additionally, these factors contribute to patients’ symptom burden, impair cognitive function, and finally have a negative impact on patients’ perception and quality of life. In this review, we summarize the adverse systemic effects of current intermittent hemodialysis therapy, their pathophysiologic consequences, review the evidence for interventions that are cardioprotective, and explore new approaches that may further reduce the systemic burden of hemodialysis. These include improved biocompatible materials, smart dialysis machines that automatically may control the fluxes of solutes and electrolytes, volume and hemodynamic control, health trackers, and potentially disruptive technologies facilitating a more personalized medicine approach.

About the Contributor

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 1982-89 at the Department of Physiology and the University Clinic of Internal Medicine, Innsbruck, Austria...