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Hypertension. 2003 Nov;42(5):925-31. Epub 2003 Oct 13.

Short-term blood pressure, noradrenergic, and vascular effects of nocturnal home hemodialysis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Long-term nocturnal hemodialysis, which uses longer and more frequent sessions than conventional hemodialysis, lowers clinic blood pressure and left ventricular mass. We tested the hypotheses that short-term nocturnal hemodialysis would (1) reduce ambulatory blood pressure; (2) cause peripheral vasodilation; (3) lower plasma norepinephrine concentration; and (4) improve the arterial response to reactive hyperemia (a marker of endothelium-dependent vasodilation). We studied 18 consecutive patients (age, 41+/-2; [mean+/-SEM]) before and 1 and 2 months after conversion from conventional (three 4-hour sessions per week) to nocturnal (six 8-hour sessions per week) hemodialysis. As the dialysis dose per session (Kt/V) increased from 1.24+/-0.06 to 2.04+/-0.08 after 2 months (P=0.02), symptomatic hypotension developed and most antihypertensive medications were withdrawn. Nocturnal hemodialysis nonetheless lowered 24-hour mean arterial pressure (from 102+/-3 to 90+/-2 mm Hg after 2 months; P=0.01), total peripheral resistance (from 1967+/-235 to 1499+/-191 dyne x s x cm(-5); P<0.01) and plasma norepinephrine (from 2.66+/-0.4 to 1.96+/-0.2 nmol; P=0.04). Endothelium-dependent vasodilation could not be elicited during conventional hemodialysis (-2.7+/-1.8%) but was restored (+8.0+/-1.0%; P=0.001) after 2 months of nocturnal hemodialysis. The brachial artery response to nitroglycerin also improved (from 6.9+/-2.8 to 15.7+/-1.6%; P<0.05). Nocturnal hemodialysis had no effect on weight or on stroke volume. Rapid reversal of these markers of adverse cardiovascular events with more intense hemodialysis may translate into improved outcome in this high-risk group of patients.

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