Effect of Predialysis Verapamil on Intradialytic Blood Pressure in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients

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Decreased left ventricular compliance because of hypertrophy or fibrosis may contribute to hypotension during hemodialysis. While calcium channel blockade may reduce intradialytic hypotension in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy and refractory pulmonary congestion, it is unknown whether such an effect might be seen in unselected hemodialysis patients. Verapamil (40 mg) or a placebo was given 1 hour before hemodialysis to 10 patients in a double-blind crossover study. Two 2 week verapamil periods alternated with two 2 week placebo periods. Patients received bicarbonate for either 3 hours (7 patients, high-flux, Filtral, Gambro-Hospal Inc., Williamsburg, VA) or for 4 hours (3 patients, Travenol 15.11 or CA 110, Baxter Healthcare, Deerfield, IL). Left ventricular hypertrophy was present by ultrasound in 7 of 8 patients tested and by electrocardiogram in 1 of the remaining 2. Intradialytic blood pressures were similar during the drug and placebo trials. The number of episodes of symptomatic hypotension per hemodialysis was 0.99 with verapamil and 0.93 during the placebo periods (p > 0.05). Thus, a single predialysis dosage of verapamil has no effect on intradialytic blood pressure in an unselected hemodialysis population.

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