Background: Hypotension is caused by a drop in blood volume during ultrafiltration, followed by vasoconstriction and reduced perfusion in some regions of the body.
Methods: We carried out a prospective controlled crossover study on 12 hypotension-prone patients with two different modalities: (A) acetate-free hemodiafiltration with standard ultrafiltration control, and (B) acetate-free hemodiafiltration with monitoring of blood volume and automatic biofeedback with machine-driven adjustments on ultrafiltration and dialysate conductivity. We measured urea Kt/V and equilibrated Kt/V (eKt/V), urea rebound, and urea removal. Hypotensive episodes and interventions were recorded.
Results: In group B, fewer hypotensive episodes were recorded (24 out of 72 in group B vs. 59 out of 72 in group A). Saline infusion was required in 57 cases in group A and 15 cases in group B. Urea Kt/V was 1.34 +/- 0.08 in group A and was 1.26 +/- 0.06 in group B; eKt/V was much higher in group B (1.12 +/- 0.05) than in group A (1.03 +/- 008). A significantly higher rebound was observed in group A (14.2 +/- 2.7%) compared with group B (6.4 +/- 2.3%). Discussion. A greater solute sequestration seems to occur during hemodialysis with hypotension. This results in lower eKt/V, enhanced postdialytic rebound, and lower solute removal. Higher efficiency can be observed when dialysis is carried out smoothly and cardiovascular stability is maintained. We conclude that new systems for blood volume monitoring and automatic biofeedback may not only reduce the number of hypotensive episodes during dialysis, but may also contribute to significantly increase the efficacy of the treatment.