Significance of interdialytic weight gain versus chronic volume overload: consensus opinion

Am J Nephrol. 2013;38(1):78-90. doi: 10.1159/000353104. Epub 2013 Jul 6.


Predialysis volume overload is the sum of interdialytic weight gain (IDWG) and residual postdialysis volume overload. It results mostly from failure to achieve an adequate volume status at the end of the dialysis session. Recent developments in bioimpedance spectroscopy and possibly relative plasma volume monitoring permit noninvasive volume status assessment in hemodialysis patients. A large proportion of patients have previously been shown to be chronically volume overloaded predialysis (defined as >15% above 'normal' extracellular fluid volume, equivalent to >2.5 liters on average), and to exhibit a more than twofold increased mortality risk. By contrast, the magnitude of the mortality risk associated with IDWG is much smaller and only evident with very large weight gains. Here we review the available evidence on volume overload and IDWG, and question the use of IDWG as an indicator of 'nonadherence' by describing its association with postdialysis volume depletion. We also demonstrate the relationship between IDWG, volume overload and predialysis serum sodium concentration, and comment on salt intake. Discriminating between volume overload and IDWG will likely lead to a more appropriate management of fluid withdrawal during dialysis. Consensually, the present authors agree that this discrimination should be among the primary goals for dialysis caretakers today. In consequence, we recommend objective measures of volume status beyond mere evaluations of IDWG.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Dielectric Spectroscopy
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Plasma Volume
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Sodium / blood
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / diagnosis*
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / etiology
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / prevention & control
  • Weight Gain


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Sodium