Con: Frequent haemodialysis for all chronic haemodialysis patients

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Abstract

Frequent haemodialysis (HD) regimens have been proposed with the aim to improve survival and other important patient outcomes. They indeed avoid the long interdialytic interval and have been associated with some proven benefits, i.e. an improvement in blood pressure and phosphataemia control, a reduction in left ventricular mass and lower ultrafiltration rates. However, the actual impact of frequent HD regimens on survival is, at best, inconclusive and, at worse, harmful, and remains uncertain regarding nutritional status and anaemia control. Moreover, the higher rates of vascular access complications and more rapid development of anuria with frequent HD regimens are worrying. Frequent HD also considerably increases the burden for patients and their caregivers, logistics and costs, especially with in-centre frequent schedules. In our opinion, before increasing HD frequency, a number of underused strategies summarized in our review and able to improve patient tolerance and/or HD dose should be tested first, taking into account patient's characteristics and life expectancy. Frequent HD schedules should be reserved for selected cases, only after all other available options have failed.

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