Baseline characteristics of participants in the Frequent Hemodialysis Network (FHN) daily and nocturnal trials

Am J Kidney Dis. 2011 Jan;57(1):90-100. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2010.08.024. Epub 2010 Nov 30.


Background: The annual mortality rate for maintenance hemodialysis patients in the United States is unacceptably high at 15%-20%. In 2004, we initiated the Frequent Hemodialysis Network (FHN) clinical trials. This report presents baseline characteristics of FHN Trial participants and compares them with hemodialysis patients tracked in US Renal Data System (USRDS) data.

Study design: 2 separate randomized clinical trials.

Settings & participants: FHN includes 332 patients with chronic kidney disease requiring long-term dialysis therapy enrolled in 2 separate randomized clinical trials. The FHN Daily Trial (245 randomly assigned participants) was designed to compare outcomes of 6-times-weekly in-center daily hemodialysis (1.5-2.75 h/session) with conventional 3-times-weekly in-center hemodialysis. The FHN Nocturnal Trial (87 randomly assigned participants) was designed to compare outcomes of 6-times-weekly home nocturnal (6-8 h/session) with conventional 3-times-weekly hemodialysis. USRDS data include 338,109 incident and prevalent long-term hemodialysis patients from the calendar year 2007.

Results: Participants in both trials were on average younger than the average hemodialysis patient in the United States (Daily Trial, 50.4 years; P < 0.001; Nocturnal Trial, 52.8 years; P < 0.001). Compared with USRDS data, whites were under-represented in the Daily Trial (36% vs 55%; P < 0.001), whereas Hispanics were under-represented in the Nocturnal Trial and over-represented in the Daily Trial (0% vs 28%; P < 0.001). In addition, there were more fistulas and fewer catheters in the Daily Trial (61% and 20%, respectively; P < 0.001 for both) and fewer grafts and more catheters in the Nocturnal Trial (10% and 44%, respectively; P < 0.005 for both).

Limitations: Clinical trial exclusion criteria and patient willingness to participate limit comparisons with the USRDS.

Conclusions: FHN participants were younger and the racial composition for each study was different from the racial composition of the aggregate US dialysis population. Catheters for vascular access were more common in FHN Nocturnal Trial participants.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hemodialysis, Home / methods
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States