Programmed initiation of hemodialysis for systemic amyloidosis patients associated with rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatol Int. 2011 Sep;31(9):1177-82. doi: 10.1007/s00296-010-1448-8. Epub 2010 Mar 28.


Reactive amyloidosis is a serious systemic disease in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Amyloid protein can be deposited in kidneys, heart or gastrointestinal tract leading to organ failure. Renal involvement is a well-known complication in amyloidosis as this may culminate in end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Hemodialysis (HD) is always considered the treatment of choice for such patients; however, the prognosis is usually poor due to a large number of sudden deaths immediately following HD therapy. To circumvent the problem of HD initiation while instituting HD safety, we devised a plan to start HD and compare patient's survival with our previous data. Sixty-three patients were treated with HD. They were categorized according to the initiation of first dialysis. All patients were divided into planned, unplanned and programmed initiation groups. First dialysis that had been initiated as not urgent was considered 'planned' (20 patients). First dialysis that had been performed urgently for life-threatening renal insufficiency was considered 'unplanned' (31 patients). First dialysis that had been initiated as not urgent and according to our dialysis program was considered 'programmed' (12 patients). Survival of these 63 patients from the initiation of HD at 38 days was 75%, at 321 days was 50% and at 1,784 days was 25%. Patients with unplanned initiation of HD showed a significant poor survival compared with those of both planned and programmed initiation. Additionally, patients with planned and programmed initiation of HD showed no significant difference for the patients' survival. Our study demonstrates that patients with amyloidosis have a higher mortality rate. Nevertheless, programmed initiation of HD will improve the prognosis of patients with ESRD. Such possibility needs to be considered in more detail in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / complications
  • Amyloidosis / mortality
  • Amyloidosis / therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index