Customization of hemodialysis therapy: dialysis is not a washing machine

Abstract

In recent years, the population of chronic dialysis has grown in number but also in age and frequency of co-morbidies such as cardiac diseases, vascular pathologies, diabetes, etc. The majority of patients on chronic hemodialysis are over 70 years and, given the high number of comorbidities, they often exhibit poor tolerance to dialysis treatments.
A non-tolerated dialytic treatment can have side-effects that would require an intensification of the dialysis sessions and many hospitalizations. Consequently, the problematic dialysis treatments, as well as harmful for the patient, become economically more detrimental than other treatments apparently more expensive but more tolerated ones In the current days we have, thanks to the huge developments in dialysis technology, powerful weapons to ensure effective and scarcely symptomatic dialysis treatments to the majority of the HD patients. New, highly biocompatible membranes with defined and modular cut-off and / or absorption capacity may allow us to provide adequate purification. Moreover the monitoring and biofeedback systems such as blood volume tracking, body temperature monitoring (BTM) and blood pressure (BPM) can be very useful in reducing the risk of intra-dialytic hypotension and symptoms. Therefore, the dialytic therapy, as well as all the pharmacological therapies for the chronic patient, must consider the specificity of the patient, basing on his metabolic problems, cardiovascular tolerance, residual renal function and on his dietary and general compliance. The central aim of the nephrologist is to formulate the better prescription for the individual patient, considering the dialysis modalities, the membrane type, the dry weight (ideal post-dialysis body weight), the frequency and the duration of the weekly sessions and the technological tools that can optimize the treatment.

Keywords : dialysis adequacy, dialysis tolerance, biocompatibility, dialysis membrane, dialysis monitoring, biofeedback

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