Background: End-stage renal disease patients have a poor quality of life (QoL), suffer from impaired cognitive functioning, and their electroencephalogram (EEG) shows abnormalities. Conventional haemodialysis (CHD) only partially restores these disorders. Short daily haemodialysis (SDHD) has been reported to improve QoL, but effects on cognitive functioning and EEG have yet to be described.
Methods: Of the 13 patients (11 male, 2 female, age 45.5 +/- 8.1 years), 11 completed the Kidney Disease Quality of Life and Affect Balance Scale questionnaires, 10 underwent neuropsychological testing, and all 13 underwent EEG examination. For the neuropsychological assessments, nine patients (six male, three female, age 45.4 +/- 12.6) who remained on the CHD schedule, served as controls. The dialysis schedule of thrice-a-week for 4 h was changed in the experimental group to six times a week for 2 h (SDHD) over a period of 6 months and back to thrice a week for 4 h.
Results: When on SDHD, patients rated several dimensions of health-related QoL as being improved. After resuming CHD, one of these dimensions again decreased and several others worsened even lower than baseline. Cognitive functioning did not change when compared with control data. On the EEG, alpha peak frequency increased slightly when on SDHD but decreased significantly after resuming CHD.
Conclusions: SDHD improves health-related QoL, but has no clear effects on cognitive functioning and EEG. Resumption of CHD after SDHD decreases aspects of QoL and EEG alpha peak frequency but has no effect on cognitive functioning.