Very Outdated Sufferers on Hemodialysis: How They Begin and Can We Predict Survival? – FullText – Blood Purification 2014, Vol. 38, No. 1

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Background: We describe circumstances of dialysis initiation, dialysis prescription and elements affecting survival in aged sufferers. Strategies: We included all incident sufferers ≥80 years outdated from a Nationwide Registry for which scientific and laboratory knowledge at dialysis initiation may retrospectively be obtained. Outcomes: Of 170 sufferers included, 24% had diabetes, 30% ischemic coronary heart illness, 13% peripheral arterial illness, 15% lively malignancy and 60% prior nephrology care. Imply creatinine was 672 ± 225 µmol/l, eGFR 7.3 ± 3.7 ml/min/1.73 m2, 81% began dialysis in hospital and 78% with a catheter. 32% had Conclusions: The vast majority of aged sufferers began dialysis with a catheter and in hospital setting. We estimate noticed survival nearly as good. Solely age and prior nephrology care had been unbiased predictors of survival. Video Journal Membership ‘Cappuccino with Claudio Ronco’ at

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The age of sufferers reaching end-stage kidney illness and requiring renal substitute remedy is rising worldwide [1,2,3,4]. The proportion of aged (age 65 and older) and really aged (age 80 and older) sufferers in incident dialysis inhabitants is rising as effectively and is prone to proceed rising sooner or later, thus the time period ‘epidemic of getting older’ appears acceptable [1]. The anticipated survival of very aged within the normal inhabitants is appreciable, however is considerably decreased by the presence of end-stage renal illness, vital comorbidities or frailty. Some sufferers at this superior age won’t profit from initiation of dialysis and cautious consideration is due to this fact justified [5]. A time-limited trial of dialysis or extended conservative administration could be proposed [6] in settlement with the affected person or the kinfolk [7]. On account of these tendencies to extra conservative remedy within the very aged, a rise in withdrawal from dialysis within the aged over the previous years has been reported in some international locations [8].

Whereas there are a lot of research trying on the survival and prognostic elements on this very aged inhabitants [9,10,11], little is understood concerning the scientific circumstances wherein these sufferers begin dialysis and the way they’re being dialyzed, since this knowledge is often not registered in renal substitute remedy registries.

The purpose of our examine was to explain the circumstances of initiating dialysis in very outdated sufferers and analyze elements influencing their survival based mostly on knowledge from a Nationwide Registry.

Topics and Strategies

We screened all incident (together with day 1) sufferers ≥80 years of age from the Slovenian Renal Substitute Remedy Registry, who began hemodialysis between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2010. We requested all dialysis facilities to retrospectively acquire knowledge from sufferers’ charts concerning their scientific standing and laboratory outcomes previous to beginning hemodialysis, both on the final outpatient go to or on the day of first hemodialysis in case of in-hospital begin. We included within the last evaluation all sufferers for which the vast majority of the requested knowledge might be obtained.

The recorded comorbidities at dialysis initiation had been: presence of diabetes mellitus, ischemic coronary heart illness, peripheral arterial illness, lively malignancy or historical past of malignancy (excluding pores and skin cancers). The opposite parameters recorded had been: whether or not the affected person was seen by a nephrologist no less than 3 months previous to dialysis initiation, vascular entry at dialysis initiation, whether or not the affected person was dwelling at residence or in a nursing residence, and whether or not hemodialysis was began in an outpatient or in-hospital setting. Sufferers had been adopted till December 31, 2010, and the time and reason behind demise had been obtained from the registry knowledge.

Information concerning dialysis prescription was obtained from prospectively collected registry experiences on the finish of the calendar yr wherein the affected person initiated dialysis; for the sufferers dying earlier than the tip of the primary calendar yr on dialysis, the information collected pertained to the week earlier than demise. The info collected included variety of dialysis classes per week, weekly period of hemodialysis, single- or double-needle dialysis mode, whether or not the affected person acquired epoetins and kind of vascular entry.

Information is introduced as imply ± SD, median and interquartile vary (IQR) or proportion, as acceptable. Survival charges had been estimated with Kaplan-Meier survival evaluation and survival was censored in case of restoration of renal perform (4 instances); not one of the sufferers had been transplanted. Noticed survival was in comparison with median life expectancy of the age- and sex-matched normal inhabitants calculated from nationwide statistics knowledge. Uni- and multivariate Cox regression evaluation was used to determine elements predicting survival. Statistical analyses had been carried out with SPSS model 10.0.5 (SPSS, Inc., USA). The examine was accredited by the Nationwide Medical Ethics Committee (Ref. No. 84/08/13).


Within the noticed 7-year interval, 1,713 sufferers (together with day 1) began renal substitute remedy in Slovenia and out of them 214 (12.5%) sufferers had been ≥80 years of age. Out of the 214 sufferers screened for inclusion, for 170 (71% response fee) extra scientific and laboratory knowledge had been obtained and had been lastly included within the examine. Their median age was 83 (IQR 81-85) years and 49% had been male. Most typical main renal ailments had been: unknown (34%), nephrosclerosis (22%) and diabetic nephropathy (17%). Common laboratory outcomes previous to beginning dialysis and sufferers’ comorbidities are proven in desk 1, whereas different parameters at initiation of dialysis are proven in desk 2. Out of the sufferers who had been seen by a nephrologist no less than 3 months previous to beginning dialysis, 36% began with an AVF (vs. 2% of these not seen by a nephrologist, p < 0.001) and 71% began dialysis in hospital (vs. 95%, p < 0.001).

Desk 1

Imply laboratory outcomes and presence of comorbidities previous to first hemodialysis

Desk 2

Different parameters at initiation of hemodialysis

Dialysis Prescription

On the finish of their first yr on renal substitute remedy (or previous to demise for sufferers not surviving by the tip of the primary yr) all sufferers had been handled with hemodialysis. Particulars of dialysis prescription are given in desk 3. The vast majority of sufferers (88%) acquired epoetins. Vascular entry on the finish of the primary yr on renal substitute remedy (or previous to demise) was AVF in 47%, catheter in 45% and knowledge was lacking in 8%. Compared to the entry at initiation of dialysis (desk 2) this was a doubling of the prevalence of AVF by the tip of the primary yr on hemodialysis.

Desk 3

Particulars of hemodialysis prescription on the finish of first yr on dialysis (or previous to demise)

Consequence and Predictors of Survival

Within the noticed interval, 93 (55%) sufferers died and 4 sufferers recovered renal perform. The reason for demise was cardiovascular in 54%, unknown in 18%, an infection in 16%, different in 7%, and malignancy in 5%. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve for the complete cohort is proven in determine 1. Median survival was 26 months, whereas 1-, 2- and 3-year survival charges had been 74, 52 and 41%, respectively. Median life expectancy of the age- and sex-matched normal inhabitants calculated from nationwide statistics knowledge can be 7.3 years. In univariate Cox regression evaluation superior age, larger phosphate ranges and beginning dialysis in hospital setting had been all vital predictors of worse survival, whereas being seen by a nephrologist no less than 3 months previous to dialysis initiation, beginning dialysis with an AVF and presence of AVF at any time (as a segmented time-dependent covariate, utilizing the final recognized AVF standing) had been vital predictors of higher survival (desk 4). All predictors had been examined for proportionality of the hazards by testing for interplay between an unbiased variable and pure logarithm of time; not one of the interactions had been vital. When vital predictors from univariate fashions had been included in a multivariate Cox regression evaluation along with age solely being seen by a nephrologist remained an unbiased predictor (desk 5).

Desk 4

Outcomes of univariate Cox regression evaluation predicting sufferers′ mortality

Desk 5

Outcomes of multivariate Cox regression evaluation together with all predictor variables which had been vital within the univariate fashions (n = 118)

Fig. 1

Kaplan-Meier survival evaluation.


Our evaluation of a subset of a nationwide cohort confirmed an excellent survival of very outdated incident hemodialysis sufferers, however was unable to determine different predictors of survival along with age and prior nephrology care. Moreover, this examine supplies observational knowledge on the circumstances of dialysis initiation in addition to dialysis prescription on this rising inhabitants. Now we have already reported on rising of the median age of incident renal substitute remedy sufferers previously years in our registry [2] and the proportion of very aged is certainly excessive, reaching 1 out of 8 sufferers initiating dialysis through the noticed interval within the present examine.

Our examine solely included sufferers who began with dialysis, so there was no management group. The noticed total survival was comparatively good (a median of slightly greater than 2 years), though a lot shorter that median life expectancy of the final inhabitants at this superior age (i.e. 7.3 years). It needs to be famous that, total, dialysis was initiated comparatively late (imply eGFR of seven ml/min/1.73 m2). Equally good survival was reported additionally from different facilities in Europe [9], together with these with a formally established most conservative administration program [10,11], whereas decrease survival charges are reported within the USA [12], which can also be the case for the final dialysis inhabitants [13]. Though no survival good thing about dialysis versus conservative remedy within the very aged was reported in some research [14], particularly within the setting of excessive comorbidity [15], there are a lot of experiences on a transparent survival profit [10,16,17]. However, initiation of dialysis does have some adverse impression on the standard of life [17] and was even declared ‘harmful’ [18]. The query of a significant prolongation of survival with dialysis in very aged sufferers is after all depending on the place to begin of statement and if that is set too early (e.g. when eGFR drops under 15 ml/min/1.73 m2 [14,15]) the survival profit is likely to be ‘diluted’ and even misplaced, since mortality is excessive at that age. Despite some issues concerning the high quality of this prolongation of life in mild of a decline in useful standing related to the initiation of dialysis [19], we imagine that typically it’s enough to justify the initiation of upkeep dialysis.

We have no idea loads concerning the circumstances wherein this rising inhabitants of aged sufferers is beginning dialysis [9,11]. As anticipated, comorbidities are frequent however our knowledge additionally exhibits that the presence of malignancy was additionally not uncommon, however regardless of that, the overwhelming majority of the sufferers had been dwelling at residence when initiating dialysis. Hemodialysis was initiated comparatively late (imply eGFR of seven ml/min/1.73 m2 and imply creatinine of 672 µmol/l), which might be the results of suspending dialysis till it turned completely obligatory, a coverage typically utilized on this frail inhabitants. Research have proven no good thing about early initiation of dialysis within the aged [20,21]. Despite late initiation imply laboratory outcomes earlier than initiation, together with potassium, phosphate, hemoglobin and albumin had been acceptable and (aside from hyperphosphatemia) inside goal vary and due to this fact don’t recommend an neglected uremia.

Nearly two thirds of sufferers had been seen by a nephrologist within the 3 months previous initiation of dialysis, nonetheless the nice majority began dialysis with a catheter and within the hospital setting, none of which is desired as an ordinary of care. The sufferers with no less than some prior nephrology care had a considerably larger chance of beginning dialysis with an AVF and in an outpatient setting, though the latter was uncommon anyhow, and pre-dialysis nephrology care was additionally the one unbiased predictor of survival in multivariate mannequin along with age. It’s conceivable that acute sickness requiring hospitalization typically resulted in worsening of the renal perform and initiation of dialysis, which resulted in a excessive incidence of in-hospital initiations. In-hospital initiation of dialysis can be extra handy for the nephrologist, since that is an outdated and frail inhabitants, typically additionally missing social help. Due to this fact it’s also potential that sufferers with superior kidney illness and an imminent want for dialysis had been hospitalized to facilitate the initiation of dialysis.

There’s a clear survival good thing about sufferers having an AVF as in comparison with a catheter within the normal dialysis inhabitants [22]. AVF at dialysis initiation was predictor of higher survival additionally in our univariate evaluation, however when used as a time-dependent predictor in multivariate evaluation (we had info on vascular entry at two completely different time factors) it was now not vital. Within the aged sufferers with power kidney illness the danger of dying could be higher than the danger of beginning dialysis and due to this fact a major proportion of AVFs constructed by no means get used attributable to prior demise of the affected person [23]. The timing of AVF placement within the aged ought to due to this fact be rigorously chosen. A comparatively small proportion of our cohort (22%) began dialysis with an AVF, however the proportion elevated through the first yr on hemodialysis to nearly 50%; the sufferers with prior nephrology care had the next prevalence of AVFs. This low prevalence of AVFs at initiation of dialysis, mixed with our earlier report of a excessive chance (84%) of developing an AVF additionally in aged sufferers referred for vascular mapping [24] most likely implies that our sufferers had been however not referred for mapping ceaselessly sufficient, and that is an space of alternative for enchancment. The DOPPS examine, however, experiences a really excessive prevalence of AVFs (70-80%) additionally within the aged affected person teams [25].

Information on prescription of dialysis within the aged can also be fairly uncommon [25], since this isn’t generally recorded within the registries. The prescription of dialysis in our cohort exhibits a development of lowering the burden of remedy by lowering the weekly variety of classes in lots of sufferers and weekly period of dialysis classes resembles that. One third of sufferers had been additionally dialyzed in single-needle mode, far more than what now we have reported for the entire dialysis inhabitants within the final registry report [2], which most likely correlates with a major use of catheters within the aged. It’s a limitation of this examine that we should not have knowledge concerning dialysis effectivity, which might present if this discount of dialysis dose is acceptable. The usage of epoetins was similar to the final dialysis inhabitants [2], so there was no rationing within the remedy of anemia.

To conclude, though nearly two thirds of very aged sufferers had some prior nephrology care, the nice majority however began dialysis with a catheter and in hospital setting. Information concerning prescription of dialysis exhibits a development of lowering the burden of remedy by lowering weekly period of dialysis. We estimate the noticed median survival of slightly greater than 2 years nearly as good and worthy of initiating dialysis at this superior age, additionally as a result of absence of robust predictors of end result, pertaining to the affected person. In a multivariate mannequin, solely age and prior nephrology care had been unbiased predictors of survival.


We want to thank to our colleagues from different dialysis facilities for offering extra scientific knowledge: Manja Antonic, MD, Zlata Ceglar, MD, Senka Cerne, MD, MSc, Sonja Kapun, MD, Stojan Kralj, MD, Natalija Kunc Resek, MD, Martina Lukac, MD, Ana Travar, MD, and Alijana Trost Rupnik, MD. We’d additionally wish to thank to Karmen Romozi, MD, for her help with knowledge administration.

Disclosure Assertion

The authors don’t have any conflicts of curiosity to reveal.


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Creator Contacts

Help. Prof. Jakob Gubensek, MD, PhD

Division of Nephrology

College Medical Middle Ljubljana

Zaloska cesta 7, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)

E-Mail [email protected]

Article / Publication Particulars

First-Web page Preview

Abstract of Original Paper

Acquired: April 01, 2014
Accepted: August 18, 2014
Printed on-line: October 14, 2014
Concern launch date: November 2014

Variety of Print Pages: 6
Variety of Figures: 1
Variety of Tables: 5

ISSN: 0253-5068 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9735 (On-line)

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