The decline in residual renal function in hemodialysis is slow and age dependent. Hemodialysis international. International Symposium on Home Hemodialysis Hung, A. M., Young, B. S., Chertow, G. M. 2003; 7 (1): 17-22


Persons on peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis with preserved residual renal function experience lower mortality rates than those without. Previous studies have shown slower rates of decline of residual renal function for peritoneal dialysis (PD)(2 to 3% decrease/month), compared with hemodialysis (HD)(6 to 7% decrease/month). However, our clinical observations suggested a lower rate of decline in hemodialysis patients.We evaluated data in 174 hemodialysis patients cared for from January 2000 through October 2001. Eighty-seven (50%) patients had at least two timed quarterly urine collections to estimate the rate of change of residual renal function over time (urea clearance, or KrU). All patients underwent thrice-weekly hemodialysis using polysulfone dialyzers with formaldehyde reprocessing. The rate of decline of residual renal function and the effect of KrU on laboratory variables were estimated using a random effects (MIXED) model, adjusting for the effects of age, sex, race, diabetes, and dialysis vintage.The mean KrU at baseline was 3.5 mL/min. Men (P < 0.001) and persons of shorter vintage (P < 0.0001) had more residual renal function at baseline. The estimated rate of decline of residual renal function was - 0.07 mL/min/month (- 1.9% decrease/month). The rate of decline in residual renal function was unaffected by sex, race, diabetes, or vintage, although the rate of decline was significantly attenuated among older individuals (age x time interaction, P = 0.01). Serum phosphorus (P = 0.03) and the calcium x phosphorus product (P = 0.009) increased over time and were influenced by the level of residual renal function (P = 0.06 and P = 0.006, respectively). Residual renal function did not influence the rate of change of other laboratory variables.In an ethnically diverse cohort of hemodialysis patients, the rate of decline of residual renal function was relatively slow and age dependent, as well as consistent with values others have reported for patients on peritoneal dialysis. Universal use of biocompatible dialyzers and bicarbonate dialysate may have contributed to differences discussed in prior reports. Residual renal function attenuated the increase in calcium-phosphorus product over time. A better understanding of the determinants of the rate of decline in residual renal function, and the specific benefits afforded to patients via maintenance of residual renal function, would help to inform the debates on timing of initiation and various dosing strategies in hemodialysis.

View details for DOI 10.1046/j.1492-7535.2003.00006.x

View details for PubMedID 19379338