Clinical practice for the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias in patients on renal replacement therapy: data from a Lombard survey


Among dialysis patients, 40% of deaths are due to cardiovascular causes, and 60% of cardiac deaths are due to an arrhythmia. The purpose of this survey, carried out with the organizational support of the Lombard Section of the Italian Society of Nephrology, is to evaluate the frequency and mode of use of non-invasive instruments for the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias in the dialysis centers of Lombardy. Information on the prevalence and type of cardiac devices at December 1, 2016 in this population was also required. Data from 18 centers were collected for a total of 3395 patients in replacement renal therapy, including 2907 (85.6%) in hemodialysis and 488 (14.4%) in peritoneal dialysis. All centers use the 12-lead ECG in case of evocative symptoms of an arrhythmic event and 2/3 perform the exam with programmed cadence (usually once a year). Twenty four-hour ECG Holter is not used as a routine diagnostic tool. The proportion of cardiac devices is relatively high, compared to literature data: n=259, equal to 7.6% of the population. Pace-Maker patients are 166 (4.9%), those with intracardiac defibrillator 52 (1.5%), those with resynchronization therapy 18 (0.5%) and those with resynchronization therapy and intracardiac defibrillator 23 (0.7%). The survey provides interesting information and can be an important starting point for trying to optimize clinical practice and collaboration between nephrologists and cardiologists in front of a major problem like that of arrhythmic disease in patients on renal replacement therapy.

KEYWORDS: Arrhythmias, haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, cardiac devices.

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.