Background and objectives: Intradialytic hypertension is associated with adverse outcomes, yet the mechanism is uncertain. Patients with intradialytic hypertension exhibit imbalances in endothelial-derived vasoregulators nitric oxide and endothelin-1, indirectly suggesting endothelial cell dysfunction. We hypothesized that intradialytic hypertension is associated in vivo with endothelial cell dysfunction, a novel predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcomes.
Design, settings, participants, & measurements: We performed a case-control cohort study including 25 hemodialysis (HD) subjects without (controls) and 25 with intradialytic hypertension (an increase in systolic BP pre- to postdialysis ≥10 mmHg ≥4/6 consecutive HD sessions). The primary outcome was peripheral blood endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) assessed by aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (ALDH(br)) and cell surface marker expression (CD34(+)CD133(+)). We also assessed endothelial function by ultrasonographic measurement of brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) normalized for shear stress. Parametric and nonparametric t tests were used to compare EPCs, FMD, and BP.
Results: Baseline characteristics and comorbidities were similar between groups. Compared with controls, 2-week average predialysis systolic BP was lower among subjects with intradialytic hypertension (144.0 versus 155.5 mmHg), but postdialysis systolic BP was significantly higher (159.0 versus 128.1 mmHg). Endothelial cell function was impaired among subjects with intradialytic hypertension as measured by decreased median ALDH(br) cells and decreased CD34(+)CD133(+) cells (ALDH(br), 0.034% versus 0.053%; CD34(+)CD133(+), 0.033% versus 0.059%). FMD was lower among subjects with intradialytic hypertension (1.03% versus 1.67%).
Conclusions: Intradialytic hypertension is associated with endothelial cell dysfunction. We propose that endothelial cell dysfunction may partially explain the higher event rates observed in these patients.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00827775.