Background: Information about residual renal function (RRF) and outcomes associated with practices of diuretic use in patients with end-stage renal disease is not available worldwide.
Methods: Diuretic use was investigated in 16,420 hemodialysis patients from the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study, a prospective observational study of hemodialysis patients selected from nationally representative facilities on 3 continents. Logistic regressions were used to investigate associations between diuretic use and patient characteristics. Outcomes of interdialytic weight gain, increased serum potassium and phosphorus levels, and odds of retaining RRF after 1 year were investigated. Cox regression was used to analyze the association between mortality and diuretic use.
Results: Facility diuretic use varied substantially from 0% to 83.9% of patients. Diuretic use decreased sharply after the start of dialysis therapy. Loop diuretic use ranged from 9.2% in the United States to 21.3% in Europe, whereas use within 90 days of starting dialysis therapy ranged from 25.0% in the United States to 47.6% in Japan. Diuretic use was associated with lower interdialytic weight gain and lower odds of hyperkalemia (potassium > 6.0 mmol/L). Patients with RRF on diuretic therapy had almost twice the odds of retaining RRF after 1 year in the study versus patients not on diuretic therapy. Patients administered diuretics had a 7% lower all-cause mortality risk (P = 0.12) and 14% lower cardiac-specific mortality risk (P = 0.03) versus patients not administered diuretics.
Conclusion: Variation exists in facility practices of diuretic use. In patients with RRF, there may be benefit associated with continuing diuretic use rather than automatically discontinuing diuretic therapy at dialysis initiation.