Dialysis safe for kidney patients' heart health

Jul 09, 2009

Dialysis treatments do not affect the heart health of kidney disease patients who have had a heart attack, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). Since cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in kidney disease patients, the findings are good news for individuals who need the treatments.

People with even mild forms of kidney disease have an elevated risk of heart attack. Those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are particularly vulnerable and often experience a heart attack while undergoing treatments such as . Unfortunately, it is unclear how safe the dialysis procedure is for heart attack patients. Because dialysis may be harmful to the heart, physicians often delay dialysis in patients who have had a heart attack.

To investigate the issue, George Coritsidis, MD (Elmhurst/Queens Hospital Center/Mount Sinai School of Medicine), and his colleagues reviewed the medical charts of 131 ESRD patients who had a heart attack while they were on dialysis. They looked to see if the timing of dialysis had any effect on patients' heart health following their heart attack. About half of the patients received dialysis within the first 24 hours of their heart attack. A quarter received dialysis 24-48 hours after their heart attack, and a quarter received dialysis more than 48 hours after.

The researchers found no link between the timing of dialysis treatments and cardiac symptoms such as chest pains or admissions. A similar number of patients in each of the three groups experienced cardiac symptoms. However, the investigators identified several predictors that might indicate which dialysis patients have a particularly high risk of having a . These include the seriousness of the patient's condition, prior heart disease, high pre-dialysis potassium blood levels, and a large drop in potassium blood levels after dialysis.

"In conclusion, our study does not indicate that timing of dialysis poses a risk. What may be of greater importance is the potassium status, its treatment, and the severity of the patients' condition on admission," the authors wrote. "Given that this is a retrospective as well as a small study, we cannot make any clear recommendations, however our findings suggest that rather than delay dialysis, concern should be placed on the degree and rate that potassium levels change," they added.

Source: American Society of Nephrology (news : web)

Explore further: Ebola chief says CDC lab incident poses no risk to public

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sleeping through dialysis: No nightmare for kidney patients

May 21, 2009

Dialysis takes hours of kidney disease patients' time several days a week, so why not do it at night while sleeping? Overnight dialysis is more convenient for some patients and offers significant benefits over shorter daytime ...

Low thyroid function common in chronic kidney disease

Jun 11, 2008

Many patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have mild reductions in thyroid function, or subclinical hypothyroidism—a condition that becomes more common as kidney function declines, according to a study in the September ...

Before starting dialysis, patients need nephrologist care

Mar 25, 2009

For patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), receiving care from a nephrologist in the months before starting dialysis reduces the risk of death during the first year on dialysis, reports a study in the May 2009 issue ...

Recommended for you

Four die of bird flu in Libya: minister

13 hours ago

Four people have died of bird flu in Libya in recent days, the health minister of the country's internationally recognised government said on Saturday.

Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

Dec 26, 2014

Europe will be "vulnerable" if it does not regard viruses as a "national security issue" like the United States, the microbiologist who discovered Ebola said in an interview published Friday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.