Outcomes of hemodialysis patients in a long-term care hospital setting: a single-center study

Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Feb;55(2):300-6. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.08.021. Epub 2009 Dec 16.


Background: Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) provide intermediary care after an acute-care hospitalization and usually furnish care to patients with complex medical problems. Outcomes of hemodialysis patients admitted to LTCHs, which includes patients with either end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or acute kidney injury (AKI) requiring dialysis therapy, are not known.

Study design: Observational study.

Setting & participants: All consecutive hemodialysis patients admitted to an LTCH.

Predictors: Demographic characteristics, comorbid and laboratory variables, ESRD, and AKI status during LTCH stay.

Outcomes: Disposition from LTCHs was classified as discharge to home, nursing home, death in LTCH or hospice care, and re-admission to the hospital. In patients with AKI, renal recovery was defined as discontinuation of dialysis therapy before meeting disposition outcomes.

Results: 96 of 206 (46.6%) patients had ESRD, whereas 110 of 206 (53.3%) developed AKI requiring dialysis therapy during the acute-care hospitalization. 63 of 206 (31%) were discharged to home, 11 of 206 (5.4%) died or transferred to hospice, 81 of 206 (40%) went to a nursing home, and 49 of 206 (24%) were re-admitted to a hospital; mortality after re-admission was 32%. Older age (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), diabetes mellitus (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.23-0.94), number of re-admissions to the hospital (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.18-0.78), aminoglycoside use (OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.04-0.64), and duration of hospitalization before LTCH admission (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99) were associated with lower odds of discharge to home. Of 110 patients with AKI requiring dialysis therapy, 30% (33 patients) discontinued dialysis therapy, whereas 70% were deemed to have ESRD on discharge.

Limitations: Retrospective observational study.

Conclusions: Most dialysis patients at LTCHs are either re-admitted to acute-care hospitals or require nursing home placement. Only 30% of patients with AKI recover sufficiently to discontinue dialysis therapy, whereas 70% are deemed to have ESRD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Treatment Outcome