In search of ideal hemodialysis: is prolonged frequent dialysis the answer?

Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Oct;34(4):597-610. doi: 10.1016/S0272-6386(99)70382-3.


Advances in technology have made it possible to deliver a high Kt/V in a shorter time. The realization that duration of dialysis may be an important predictor of survival independent of dialysis dose has resulted in the popularity of prolonged slow dialysis (PHD). The longer duration and increased frequency of dialysis achieve excellent small- and middle-molecular weight solute clearance and also attenuate the peak concentration of uremic toxins. The slow dialysis process enables the equilibration of tissue and vascular compartments, resulting in better clearance and decreased postdialysis rebound increase in solutes. Gentle, persistent ultrafiltration allows the control of hypertension with minimal antihypertensive use. The intense and more frequent dialysis improves appetite and permits liberalization of diet. This greater dietary protein intake results in a progressive increase in serum albumin level and dry weight. Nocturnal hemodialysis achieves control of hyperphosphatemia without phosphate binders and a significant reduction in serum beta(2)-microglobulin levels. Normalization of extracellular volume, better clearance of uremic toxins, and improved nutrition result in a significant improvement in survival. The flexible time schedule with home hemodialysis and improvement of sleep and neurocognitive function allow better rehabilitation. The available evidence indicates PHD may be closer to the concept of an ideal dialysis, but there is lingering uncertainty about the consequence of prolonged immune stimulation, catabolism, and loss of essential solutes with these therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Hemofiltration / methods
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome