Will Incremental Hemodialysis Preserve Residual Function and Improve Patient Survival?

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Abstract

The progressive loss of residual renal function in peritoneal dialysis patients is associated with increased mortality. It has been suggested that incremental dialysis may help preserve residual renal function and improve patient survival. Residual renal function depends upon both patient related and dialysis associated factors. Maintaining patients in an over-hydrated state may be associated with better preservation of residual renal function but any benefit comes with a significant risk of cardiovascular consequences. Notably, it is only observational studies that have reported an association between dialysis patient survival and residual renal function; causality has not been established for dialysis patient survival. The tenuous connections between residual renal function and outcomes and between incremental hemodialysis and residual renal function should temper our enthusiasm for interventions in this area.

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