Hemodialysis access quality targets
Background: The transition from chronic kidney disease stage 5 to initiation of hemodialysis has gained increased attention in recent years as this period is one of high risk for patients with an annual mortality rate exceeding 20%. Morbidity and mortality in incident hemodialysis patients are partially attributed to failure to attain guideline-based targets. This study focuses on improvements in six aspects of quality of dialysis care (adequacy, anemia, nutrition, chronic kidney disease-mineral bone disorder (CKD-MBD), blood pressure and vascular access) aligning with KDIGO guidelines, during the first 6 months of hemodialysis.
Methods: We analyzed patient demographics, practice patterns and laboratory data in all 3 462 patients (mean age 65.9 years, 41% females) on hemodialysis (incident <90 days on hemodialysis, n=603, prevalent ≥90 days on hemodialysis, mean 55 months, n=2 859) from all 56 DaVita centers in Poland (51 centers) and Portugal (5 centers). 80% of patients had hemodialysis and 20% hemodiafiltration. Statistical analyses included unpaired and paired Students t-test, Chi-2 analyses, McNemar test and logistic regression analysis.
Results: Incident patients had lower Kt/V (1.4 vs 1.7, p<0.001), lower serum albumin (37 vs 40 g/l, p=0.001), lower Hb (9.9 vs 11.0 g/dl, p<0.001), lower TSAT (26 vs 31%, p<0.001), lower iPTH (372 vs 496 pg/ml, p<0.001), more often a central venous catheter (68 vs 26%, p<0.001), less often an AV fistula (34 vs 70 %, p<0.001) compared with all prevalent patients. Significantly more prevalent patients achieved international treatment targets. Improvements in quality of care was also analyzed in a subgroup of 258 incident patients who were followed prospectively for 6 months. We observed significant improvements in Kt/V (p<0.001), albumin (p<0.001), Hb (p<0.001) transferrin saturation (TSAT, p<0.001), iPTH (p=0.005) and an increased use of AV fistula (p<0.001). Furthermore, logistic regression analyses identified treatment time and TSAT as major factors influencing the attainment of adequacy and anemia treatment targets.
Conclusion: This large real-world European multicenter analysis of representative incident hemodialysis patients indicates that the use of medical protocols and medical targets assures significant improvements in quality of care, which may correspond to better outcomes. A selection bias of survivors with less comorbidities in prevalent patients may have influenced the results.
Drozdz M, Frazão J, Silva F, Das P, Kleophas W, Al Badr W, Brzosko S, Jacobson SH. Improvements in six aspects of quality of care of incident hemodialysis patients – a real-world experience. BMC Nephrol. 2021 Oct 7;22(1):333. doi: 10.1186/s12882-021-02529-1. PMID: 34620096.