Osteodystrophy management includes dietary phosphorus restriction, which may limit protein intake, exacerbate malnutrition-inflammation syndrome and mortality among hemodialysis patients.Methods
A multicenter randomized controlled trial was conducted in Lebanon, to test the hypothesis that intensive nutrition education focused on phosphorus-to-protein balance will improve patient outcomes. Six hemodialysis units were randomly assigned to the trained hospital dietitian (THD) protocol (210 patients). Six others (184 patients) were divided equally according to the patients’ dialysis shifts and assigned to Dedicated Dietitian (DD) and Control protocols. Patients in the THD group received nutrition education from hospital dietitians who were trained by the study team on renal dietetics, but had limited time for hemodialysis patients. Patients in the DD group received individualized nutritional education on dietary phosphorus and protein management for 6 months (2-hour/patient/month) from study renal dietitians. Patients in the control group continued receiving routine care from hospital dietitians who had limited time for these patients and were blinded to the study. Serum phosphorus (mmol/L), malnutrition-inflammation score (MIS), health-related quality of life (HRQOL) index and length of hospital stay (LOS) were assessed at T0 (baseline), T1 (postintervention) and T2 (post6 month follow up).Findings
Only the DD protocol significantly improved serum phosphorus (T0:1.78 ± 0.5, T1:1.63 ± 0.46, T2:1.69 ± 0.53), 3 domains of the HRQOL and maintained MIS at T1, but this protective effect resolved at T2. The LOS significantly dropped for all groups.Discussion
The presence of competent renal dietitians fully dedicated to hemodialysis units was superior over the other protocols in temporarily improving patient outcomes.