Rachel Fissell
Last active: 2/25/2014


I trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland, and completed a Nephrology Fellowship at the University of Michigan, and a Masters degree in Biostatistics and Clinical Trial Design at the University of Michigan.

The goals of my research are to improve survival and quality of life for patients with End Stage Renal Disease.   My training and background are in epidemiology, statistics, and clinical trial design, particularly in the hemodialysis population.  My contributions in the past have involved sampling large data sets such as the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study, the United States Renal Data System, and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, to test for associations between patient characteristics and practice patterns, and patient outcomes. 

Over the past 5 years, my clinical focus has been hemodialysis, and specifically in-center nocturnal hemodialysis.  I have worked with teams at both the Cleveland Clinic and Vanderbilt to add nocturnal shifts to existing daytime programs; we put patients on for 8 hours, 3 nights a week.  My research now focuses on the benefits to patients of longer, more extended treatments.  In-center nocturnal hemodialysis seems to allow patients to normalize their sleep wake cycle, liberalize their diet and still maintain normal serum phosphorus levels, and have slower ultrafiltration rates with overall greater fluid removal.  Our team is studying patient factors that are associated with long term patient success with the nocturnal modality.  I am also interested in the physiology of longer versus shorter treatments, and whether extending treatment times can modify inflammation, which has been associated with morbidity and mortality in the dialysis population.  Finally, I am interested in learning more about using metrics other than small solute clearance to measure dialysis adequacy. 



The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Association of dialysate bicarbonate concentration with mortality in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS). Tentori F, Karaboyas A, Robinson BM, Morgenstern H, Zhang J, Sen A, Ikizler TA, Rayner H, Fissell RB, Vanholder R, Tomo T, Port FK (2013) Am J Kidney Dis 62(4): 738-46
    › Primary publication · 23707043 (PubMed) · PMC3832240 (PubMed Central)
  2. Hemodialysis patient preference for type of vascular access: variation and predictors across countries in the DOPPS. Fissell RB, Fuller DS, Morgenstern H, Gillespie BW, Mendelssohn DC, Rayner HC, Robinson BM, Schatell D, Kawanishi H, Pisoni RL (2013) J Vasc Access 14(3): 264-72
    › Primary publication · 23599135 (PubMed)

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    Contact Information

    1161 21st Avenue South
    S-3301B Medical Center North
    Nashville, TN 37232-2372
    615-322-6976 (p)
    615-343-2605 (f)

    Keywords & MeSH Terms

    MeSH terms are retrieved from PubMed records. Learn more.

    Key: MeSH Term Keyword

    Aged Aged, 80 and over Age Factors Australia Bicarbonates Canada Central Venous Catheters Cohort Studies Cross-Sectional Studies Cultural Characteristics Dialysis Solutions Europe Female Healthcare Disparities Health Care Surveys Hospitalization Japan Logistic Models Male Middle Aged Multivariate Analysis New Zealand Odds Ratio Outcome Assessment (Health Care) Patient Preference Practice Patterns, Physicians' Prospective Studies Renal Dialysis Sex Factors United States