Influence of calcium concentration in haemodialysis fluid on blood pressure control

Nefrologia (Engl Ed). 2019 Jan-Feb;39(1):44-49. doi: 10.1016/j.nefro.2018.04.008. Epub 2018 Jul 31.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Background: Hypertension is a highly prevalent disorder among patients undergoing haemodialysis. It contributes to greater cardiovascular risk and must be controlled. However, despite dietary measures, haemodialysis regimen optimisation and pharmacological treatment, some patients in our units continue to maintain high blood pressure levels. The objective of the study is to demonstrate that reducing calcium in dialysis fluid can help treat hypertension patients undergoing haemodialysis.

Material and methods: We selected all of the hypertensive patients from our haemodialysis unit. We checked their normovolemic status by means of bioimpedance spectroscopy, decreasing the haemodialysis fluid's calcium concentration to 2.5mEq/l, with a follow-up period of 12 months.

Results: A total of 24 patients met the non-volume dependent hypertension criteria (age 61±15 years, males 48%, diabetes 43%). A significant systolic and diastolic blood pressure decrease was observed at 6 and 12 months as a result of reducing the dialysis calcium concentration; this was not accompanied by greater haemodynamic instability (baseline systolic blood pressure: 162±14 mmHg; at 6 months: 146±18 mmHg; at 12 months: 141±21 mmHg; P=.001) (baseline diastolic blood pressure: 76±14 mmHg; at 6 months: 70±12 mmHg; at 12 months: 65±11 mmHg; P=.005). A non-significant increase in plasma parathyroid hormone levels was also found. No side effects were observed.

Conclusions: Adding 2.5mEq/l of calcium to dialysis fluid is a safe and effective therapeutic alternative to control hard-to-manage hypertension among haemodialysis patients.

Keywords: Calcio; Calcium; Concentrado; Concentrate; Dialysis fluid; Haemodialysis; Hemodiálisis; Hypertension; Líquido de diálisis; Tensión arterial.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Determination / methods
  • Calcium / administration & dosage*
  • Calcium / adverse effects*
  • Dialysis Solutions / chemistry*
  • Dielectric Spectroscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy


  • Dialysis Solutions
  • Calcium