Background. Available evidence suggests a reduced mortality risk for patients treated with high-volume postdilution hemodiafiltration (HDF) when compared with hemodialysis (HD) patients. As the magnitude of the convection volume depends on treatment-related factors rather than patient-related characteristics, we prospectively investigated whether a high convection volume (defined as ≥22 L/session) is feasible in the majority of patients (>75%). Methods. A multicenter study was performed in adult prevalent dialysis patients. Nonparticipating eligible patients formed the control group. Using a stepwise protocol, treatment time (up to 4 hours), blood flow rate (up to 400 mL/min) and filtration fraction (up to 33%) were optimized as much as possible. The convection volume was determined at the end of this optimization phase and at 4 and 8 weeks thereafter. Results. Baseline characteristics were comparable in participants (n = 86) and controls (n = 58). At the end of the optimization and 8 weeks thereafter, 71/86 (83%) and 66/83 (80%) of the patients achieved high-volume HDF (mean 25.5 ± 3.6 and 26.0 ± 3.4 L/session, respectively). While treatment time remained unaltered, mean blood flow rate increased by 27% and filtration fraction increased by 23%. Patients with <22 L/session had a higher percentage of central venous catheters (CVCs), a shorter treatment time and lower blood flow rate when compared with patients with ≥22 L/session. Conclusions. High-volume HDF is feasible in a clear majority of dialysis patients. Since none of the patients agreed to increase treatment time, these findings indicate that high-volume HDF is feasible just by increasing blood flow rate and filtration fraction.
Keywords: convection volume; end-stage kidney disease; feasibility; hemodiafiltration; optimization.