Long 3 x 8 hr dialysis: a three-decade summary

J Nephrol. Nov-Dec 2003;16 Suppl 7:S64-9.


A long hemodialysis (HD), 3 x 8 hours/week, has been used without significant modification in Tassin for 35 years with excellent morbidity and mortality results. It can be performed during the day or overnight. The relatively good survival is mainly due to a lower cardiovascular mortality than usually reported in dialysis patients. This in turn is mainly due to the good control of blood pressure (BP) including drug-free hypertension control and low incidence of intradialytic hypotension. This control of BP is probably the result of the tight extracellular volume normalization (dry weight), although one cannot exclude the effect of other factors such as serum phosphorus control well achieved using long dialysis. The high dose of small and even more of middle molecules is another essential virtue of long dialysis, leading to good nutrition, correction of anemia, control of serum phosphate and potassium with low doses of medications and providing a very cost-effective treatment. In 2002 one must aim at optimal rather than just adequate dialysis. Optimal dialysis needs to correct as perfectly as possible each and every abnormality due to renal failure. It can be achieved using longer (or more frequent) sessions. Overnight dialysis is the most logical way of implementing long HD with the lowest possible hindrance on patient's life. Due to the change in case mix a decreasing number of patients are able or willing to go on overnight dialysis, education to be autonomous is more difficult, but the benefit is still there.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Extracellular Fluid / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Survival Rate