Outcomes of extended-hours hemodialysis performed predominantly at home

Am J Kidney Dis. 2013 Feb;61(2):247-53. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.08.032. Epub 2012 Oct 2.


Background: Recent evidence suggests that increased frequency and/or duration of dialysis are associated with improved outcomes. We aimed to describe the outcomes associated with patients starting extended-hours hemodialysis and assess for risk factors for these outcomes.

Study design: Case series.

Setting & participants: Patients were from 6 Australian centers offering extended-hours hemodialysis. Cases were patients who started treatment for 24 hours per week or longer at any time.

Outcomes: All-cause mortality, technique failure (withdrawal from extended-hours hemodialysis therapy), and access-related events.

Measurements: Baseline patient characteristics (sex, primary cause of end-stage kidney disease, age, ethnicity, diabetes, and cannulation technique), presence of a vascular access-related event, and dialysis frequency.

Results: 286 patients receiving extended-hours hemodialysis were identified, most of whom performed home (96%) or nocturnal (77%) hemodialysis. Most patients performed alternate-daily dialysis (52%). Patient survival rates using an intention-to-treat approach at 1, 3, and 5 years were 98%, 92%, and 83%, respectively. Of 24 deaths overall, cardiac death (n = 7) and sepsis (n = 5) were the leading causes. Technique survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 90%, 77%, and 68%, respectively. Access event-free rates at the same times were 80%, 68%, and 61%, respectively. Access events significantly predicted death (HR, 2.85; 95% CI, 1.14-7.15) and technique failure (HR, 3.76; 95% CI, 1.93-7.35). Patients with glomerulonephritis had a reduced risk of technique failure (HR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.14-0.69). Higher dialysis frequency was associated with elevated risk of developing an access event (HR per dialysis session, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.03-2.36).

Limitations: Selection bias, lack of a comparator group.

Conclusions: Extended-hours hemodialysis is associated with excellent survival rates and is an effective treatment option for a select group of patients. The major treatment-associated adverse events were related to complications of vascular access, particularly infection. The risk of developing vascular access complications may be increased in extended-hours hemodialysis, which may negatively affect long-term outcomes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hemodialysis, Home / methods*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult