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Arch Intern Med. 2008 Sep 8;168(16):1761-7. doi: 10.1001/archinte.168.16.1761.

Management of acute kidney injury in the intensive care unit: a cost-effectiveness analysis of daily vs alternate-day hemodialysis.

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Division of Nephrology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 780 Welch Rd, Ste 106, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.



Although evidence suggests that a higher hemodialysis dose and/or frequency may be associated with improved outcomes, the cost-effectiveness of a daily hemodialysis strategy for critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) is unknown.


We developed a Markov model of the cost, quality of life, survival, and incremental cost-effectiveness of daily hemodialysis, compared with alternate-day hemodialysis, for patients with AKI in the intensive care unit (ICU). We employed a societal perspective with a lifetime analytic time horizon. We modeled the efficacy of daily hemodialysis as a reduction in the relative risk of death on the basis of data reported in the 2004 clinical trial published by Schiffl et al. We performed 1- and 2-way sensitivity analyses across cost, efficacy, and utility input variables. The main outcome measure was cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).


In the base case for a 60-year-old man, daily hemodialysis was projected to add 2.14 QALYs and $10,924 in cost. We found that the cost-effectiveness of daily hemodialysis compared with alternate-day hemodialysis was $5084 per QALY gained. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio became less favorable (>$50,000 per QALY gained) when the maintenance hemodialysis rate of the daily hemodialysis group was varied to more than 27% and when the difference in 14-day postdischarge mortality between the alternatives was varied to less than 0.5%.


Daily hemodialysis is a cost-effective strategy compared with alternate-day hemodialysis for patients with severe AKI in the ICU.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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