Variations in intradialytic blood pressure (BP) are a common and predictable occurrence in ESRD patients. These are caused by a decrease in blood volume provoked by ultrafiltration, lack of normal compensatory responses to fluid removal, underlying cardiac disease, and electrolyte changes that may adversely affect cardiovascular function. Intradialytic hypotension is the most frequent complication of the hemodialysis (HD) procedure and is fundamentally a consequence of an ultrafiltration rate that surpasses mechanisms activated to avert a decline in BP. Intradialytic hypertension is a less well-understood problem that has been recently associated with increased mortality. Fundamental patient characteristics and components of the HD procedure are involved in the pathophysiology of intradialytic hypotension and intradialytic hypertension. Correction of patient factors, modulation of HD prescription, and management of pharmacologic agents are the strategies to deal with adverse intradialytic BP changes.
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