Background: Cardiac failure and cardiovascular death are extremely prevalent in dialysis patients. Recurrent subclinical myocardial ischemia is important in the genesis of heart failure in nondialysis patients. We examined whether this phenomenon occurs in response to the stress of hemodialysis (HD).
Methods: Eight patients prone to intradialytic hypotension were recruited for a randomized crossover study to compare the development of left ventricular regional wall motion abnormalities during standard (HD) and biofeedback dialysis. Patients underwent serial echocardiography with quantitative analysis to assess ejection fraction and regional left ventricular systolic function during both types of dialysis. Blood pressure and hemodynamic variables also were measured by using continuous pulse wave analysis.
Results: Forty-two new regional wall motion abnormalities developed in all 8 patients during HD compared with 23 regional wall motion abnormalities that developed in 7 patients during biofeedback dialysis (odds ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 3.0). The majority of regional wall motion abnormalities showed improvement in function by 30 minutes postdialysis. Overall mean regional function was significantly more impaired during HD (P = 0.022). At peak stress, ejection fraction (measured by percentage of change from baseline) was significantly lower during HD (P = 0.043). Blood pressure was higher during biofeedback dialysis, with significantly fewer episodes of hypotension (odds ratio, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 4.4). Significantly smaller decreases in stroke volume and cardiac output and a greater increment in pulse rate were observed during biofeedback dialysis.
Conclusion: This study shows that reversible left ventricular wall motion abnormalities develop during dialysis with ultrafiltration. We also show that this phenomenon can be ameliorated by the improved hemodynamic stability of biofeedback dialysis and therefore is a potential target for intervention.