Daily and nocturnal hemodialysis: how do they stack up?

Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Aug;38(2):225-39. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2001.26079.


A growing number of articles in the literature describe experiences using more frequent hemodialysis (HD), either short daily or long nocturnal. Most of these publications highlight successes obtained by these programs with a fragmented look at specific areas and outcomes. This review of published results from the use of these therapies shows that universal improvement is noted in dialysis adequacy, nutrition, quality of life, blood pressure control, fluid and electrolyte balance, and hospitalizations when these parameters are mentioned. However, data reporting is often incomplete. Most studies do not have adequate control groups, patient populations are often different from the standard HD population, and many have small numbers that preclude statistical significance. Nonuniformity of patient selection and study design prevents accurate comparison and pooling of patient data. In some cases, the same patients' data for the same periods of observation are reported in several studies. Despite data that can be characterized as preliminary and anecdotal, the results reported in this review show remarkable patient improvement worthy of serious consideration by the renal community. To reach a level of evidence that will be widely acceptable, the renal community needs to partner with such government institutions as the National Institutes of Health and the Health Care Financing Administration to study systematically the outcomes and costs associated with using more frequent HD. In the process, important ramifications of such a cooperative study, including potential changes in policy, need to be considered.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / etiology
  • Acidosis / prevention & control
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / prevention & control
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / etiology
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / prevention & control
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Nutrition Disorders / etiology
  • Nutrition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Periodicity
  • Policy Making
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis / economics
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality
  • Renal Dialysis / standards
  • Survival Rate
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance