Dialysis at a crossroads: 50 years later.

Parker T, Hakim R, Nissenson AR, Steinman T, Glassock RJ
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 6 (2): 457-61

PMID: 21148247 · DOI:10.2215/CJN.08450910

The ability to offer repetitive hemodialysis for treatment of chronic kidney failure has now reached its half-century anniversary. Although millions of patients have benefited from this life-extending procedure, current results in the United States have now stagnated with only small annual improvements in survival and continued high hospitalization rates. Recognition that this stagnation may be, at least in part, the result of inadequacies of current and prior paths utilized in dialysis treatment has led to the concept that dialysis therapy is at a crossroads and that new paths need to be articulated, explored, and applied. This article proposes some of these new paths and their rationale. Two elements of the new paths are emphasized: avoidance of indwelling catheters for vascular access and meticulous attention to control of extracellular volume and mitigation of left ventricular hypertrophy and fibrosis. It is postulated that progress in these two areas, along with continued attention to other elements embodied in the new and old paths, will unlock the stagnation in outcomes of dialysis therapy of end-stage kidney failure and allow it to realize its full potential of prolonging life and alleviating disability.

MeSH Terms (14)

Catheters, Indwelling Extracellular Fluid Fibrosis History, 20th Century History, 21st Century Humans Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular Kidney Failure, Chronic Renal Dialysis Risk Assessment Risk Factors Time Factors Treatment Outcome Water-Electrolyte Balance

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