Background: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is common in dialysis patients, and an independent predictor of mortality. While recent studies have shown no differences in mortality between the two most common dialysis modalities, hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD), their impact on LVH is controversial. We thus performed cardiac ultrasound studies in prevalent dialysis patients receiving either HD or PD and compared LVH.
Methods: We included 48 HD and 62 PD patients receiving treatment for at least three months in our dialysis center. All patients underwent echocardiographic examination and blood pressure measurements immediately following therapy. Volume status was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis.
Results: There was no baseline difference in demographics or comorbidities between HD and PD patients. As expected, extracellular water (ECW) in post-HD patients was significantly lower than that in pre-HD and PD patients, while cardiac output (CO) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) were higher in pre-HD than that in post-HD or PD patients. There was no significant difference in CO or SBP between post-HD and PD patients. Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) was markedly higher in HD patients as compared to PD patients. Thus, the prevalence of LVH according to the Framingham criteria was 68.8% in HD patients and 45.2% in PD patients. Subgroup analysis showed similar results in the patients who had been on single-modality dialysis for at least two years and in the anuric patients. Finally, in a linear regression model (r(2) = 0.364, p < 0.001), SBP, treatment modality (to be in HD), and ECW were all independent predictors of LVMI.
Conclusions: In a cross-sectional analysis of prevalent Chinese patients, we found a higher LVMI and a higher prevalence of LVH in HD than in PD patients. As LVMI was associated with high blood pressure and volume overload, we suggest that in these patients, PD may preserve more physiological hemodynamics even during long-term therapy.