Choosing Home Hemodialysis: A Critical Review of Patient Outcomes

Blood Purif. 2018;45(1-3):224-229. doi: 10.1159/000485159. Epub 2018 Jan 26.


Background/aim: Home hemodialysis (HHD) has been associated with improved clinical outcomes vs. in-center HD (ICHD). The prevalence of HHD in the United States is still very low at 1.8%. This critical review compares HHD and ICHD outcomes for survival, hospitalization, cardiovascular (CV), nutrition, and quality of life (QoL).

Methods: Of 545 publications identified, 44 were not selected after applying exclusion criteria. A systematic review of the identified publications was conducted to compare HHD to ICHD outcomes for survival, hospitalization, CV outcomes, nutrition, and QoL.

Results: Regarding mortality, 10 of 13 trials reported 13-52% reduction; three trials found no differences. According to 6 studies, blood pressure and left ventricular size measurements were generally lower in HHD patients compared to similar measurements in ICHD patients. Regarding nutritional status, conflicting results were reported (8 studies); some found improved muscle mass, total protein, and body mass index in HHD vs. ICHD patients, while others found no significant differences. There were no significant differences in the rate of hospitalization between HHD and ICHD in the 6 articles reviewed. Seven studies on QoL demonstrated positive trends in HHD vs. ICHD populations.

Conclusions: Despite limitations in the current data, 66% of the publications reviewed (29/44) demonstrated improved clinical outcomes in patients who chose HHD. These include improved survival, CV, nutritional, and QoL parameters. Even though HHD may not be preferred in all patients, a review of the literature suggests that HHD should be provided as a modality choice for substantially more than the current 1.8% of HHD patients in the United States.

Keywords: Cardiovascular blood pressure; Home hemodialysis; Mortality; Outcomes; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Hemodialysis, Home / methods*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology