Diuretic use, residual renal function, and mortality among hemodialysis patients in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Pattern Study (DOPPS)

Am J Kidney Dis. 2007 Mar;49(3):426-31. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2006.12.012.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Japan
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Potassium / blood
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States


  • Diuretics
  • Phosphates
  • Potassium