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Nephron Extra. 2012 Jan;2(1):48-54. doi: 10.1159/000337338. Epub 2012 Mar 26.

Comparison of volume status in asymptomatic haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis outpatients.

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UCL Centre for Nephrology, Royal Free Hospital, University College London Medical School, London, UK.



The majority of haemodialysis (HD) patients gain weight between dialysis sessions and thereby become volume overloaded, whereas peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a more continuous technique. Cardiovascular mortality and hypertension is increased with both treatment modalities. We therefore wished to compare volume status in PD and HD to determine whether PD patients are chronically volume overloaded, as a risk factor for cardiovascular mortality. Study Design, Setting and Participants:We retrospectively audited 72 healthy HD patients and 115 healthy PD patients attending a university hospital dialysis centre for routine outpatient treatment, who had multi-frequency bioimpedance measurements of extracellular water to total body water (ECW/TBW).


The groups were well matched for age, sex, weight and ethnicity, PD patients had greater urine output [1,075 (485-1,613) vs. 42.5 (0-1,020) ml/day, p < 0.001], but there was no difference in antihypertensive prescription (63.5 vs. 76.4%), mean arterial blood pressure (post-dialysis 101.6 ± 1.5 mm Hg vs. pre-dialysis 102 ± 2.4 mm Hg), although post-dialysis arterial blood pressure was lower than in PD patients (96.4 ± 3.1 mm Hg, p < 0.05). The ratio of ECW/TBW fell after HD (pre-dialysis 0.394 ± 0.001 vs. post-dialysis 0.389 ± 0.004, p < 0.001) and was similar in the PD group to the group before HD (0.393 ± 0.001), and greater than that in the group after HD (p < 0.001). ECW/TBW was greater than the normal reference range in 30% PD patients, 28% patients before HD and 20% patients after HD.


Overhydration is common in healthy stable PD outpatients, and ECW volumes in PD patients are not dissimilar to those of pre-dialysis HD patients. The role of chronic volume overload as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease needs further investigation.


Bioimpedance; Extracellular water; Haemodialysis; Peritoneal dialysis; Total body water

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