Overnight dialysis a good option for kidney patients

May 25th, 2009 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 25 (IANS) Dialysis ties up hours of a kidney patient’s time several days a week, so why not do it at night during sleep?
A new study has found that it is a viable alternative for patients with irreversible kidney disease, particularly in dialysis clinics where there are constraints on time and resources.

Dialysis removes waste products such as phosphate and urea from the blood, usually in three to five hours of treatment three days a week.

Unfortunately, even this difficult schedule may not be frequent enough to maintain many patients’ health. Some clinics offer an alternative: three weekly overnight dialysis sessions lasting six hours or more.

To test the effectiveness of this alternative schedule, Joanna Ruth Powell (Western Infirmary, Britain) and her colleagues compared the health of patients who received long overnight dialysis sessions with those who received conventional dialysis during the day.

During 10 years of study, 146 patients in their clinic chose long overnight dialysis (approximately 11 percent of their dialysis patients). Patients were aged between 30 and 70 years.

The overnight therapy was well tolerated with only a third of the patients reverting to conventional dialysis after an average of two years, mostly for preferential rather than medical reasons, said a Western Infirmary release.

Previous studies have found that overnight dialysis also reduces patients’ blood pressure, blood phosphate levels, and risk of premature death compared with conventional dialysis. This study did not observe these benefits, however.

These findings are slated for publication in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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