Value of bioimpedance analysis estimated "dry weight" in maintenance dialysis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Int Urol Nephrol. 2017 Dec;49(12):2231-2245. doi: 10.1007/s11255-017-1698-4. Epub 2017 Sep 30.


Background: Volume overload is a common complication in patients with end-stage kidney disease who undergo maintenance dialysis therapy and associated with hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy and mortality in this population. Although bioimpedance analysis (BIA), an objective method to assess overhydration, is associated with poor outcomes in observational studies, in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) the results were conflicting. We have examined the role of BIA for assessing the "dry weight" and fluid status in order to improve fluid overload in comparison with a control or clinical-based prescription in patients with ESKD receiving haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

Methods: All RCTs and quasi-RCTs in which BIA was used to improve fluid overload and assess the effect on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, systolic blood pressure and volume control and arterial stiffness were included.

Results: Seven RCTs with 1312 patients could be included in this review. In low-to-medium quality of the evidence, the use of BIA did not reduce all-cause mortality (relative risk 0.87, 95% CI 0.54-1.39) and had small to no effect on body change, but it improved systolic blood pressure control (mean difference (MD) -2.73 mmHg, 95% CI -5.00 to -0.46 mmHg) and reduce overhydration, as measured by BIA, with 0.43 L [(MD), 95% CI 0.71-0.15 L].

Conclusion: In ESKD patients, BIA-based interventions for correction of overhydration have little to no effect on all-cause mortality, whereas BIA improved systolic blood pressure control. Our results should be interpreted with caution as the size and power of the included studies are low. Further studies, larger or with a longer follow-up period, should be performed to better describe the effect of BIA-based strategies on survival.

Keywords: Bioimpedance analysis; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease; Haemodialysis; Hypertension; Mortality; Volume control.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Fluids / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Renal Dialysis*