New study may lead to better care among patients with kidney failure

Story Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2013 10:32:00 EDT

A landmark study in end-stage kidney disease may lead to more effective management of individuals who undergo dialysis.

Ramin Tolouian, MD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, was among the authors of the study “A comparative effectiveness research study of the change in blood pressure during hemodialysis treatment and survival,” which appeared in the journal Kidney International.

The paper is ranked among the top three of the world’s most popular nephrology articles in a 30-day period.

The retrospective study looked at 113,255 dialysis patients over a five-year period to determine if there was an association between changes in blood pressure during dialysis and mortality. Dialysis is a life-sustaining treatment that removes waste from the blood after the kidneys no longer can perform the chore.

The study found that modest declines in blood pressure following dialysis were associated with the greatest survival. Any rise or large decline in blood pressure was associated with lower odds of survival.

“With this information, we are trying to avoid blood pressure fluctuation during dialysis as much as we can,” Dr. Tolouian says. Patients can help themselves, he adds, by closely following directions about the use of medications prescribed to control blood pressure.