Intensive (longer and more frequent) hemodialysis has emerged as an alternative to conventional hemodialysis for the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease. However, given the differences in dialysis delivery and models of care associated with intensive dialysis, alternative approaches to patient management may be required. The purpose of this work was to develop a clinical practice guideline for the Canadian Society of Nephrology. We applied the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach for guideline development and performed targeted systematic reviews and meta-analysis (when appropriate) to address prioritized clinical management questions. We included studies addressing the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease with short daily (≥5 days per week, <3 hours per session), long (3-4 days per week, ≥5.5 hours per session), or long-frequent (≥5 days per week, ≥5.5 hours per session) hemodialysis. We included clinical trials and observational studies with or without a control arm (1990 and later). Based on a prioritization exercise, 6 interventions of interest included optimal vascular access type, buttonhole cannulation, antimicrobial prophylaxis for buttonhole cannulation, closed connector devices, and dialysate calcium and dialysate phosphate additives for patients receiving intensive hemodialysis. We developed 6 recommendations addressing the interventions of interest. Overall quality of the evidence was very low and all recommendations were conditional. We provide detailed commentaries to guide in shared decision making. The main limitation was the very low overall quality of evidence that precluded strong recommendations. Most included studies were small single-arm observational studies. Three randomized controlled trials were applicable, but provided only indirect evidence. Published information for patient values and preference was lacking. In conclusion, we provide 6 recommendations for the practice of intensive hemodialysis. However, due to very low-quality evidence, all recommendations were conditional. We therefore also highlight priorities for future research.
Copyright © 2013 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.