Journal Article

The heart rate response pattern to dialysis hypotension in haemodialysis patients.

C Zoccali, G Tripepi, F Mallamaci and V Panuccio

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 12, issue 3, pages 519-523
Published in print March 1997 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online March 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
The heart rate response pattern to dialysis hypotension in haemodialysis patients.

Show Summary Details


BACKGROUND: Hypotension during haemodialysis may be caused by the activation of a cardiovascular reflex causing abrupt sympathetic withdrawal, vasodilatation and bradycardia (bradycardic hypotension). However, the frequency of this type of hypotension is undefined and it is unclear whether or not it underlies a peculiar predisposition to vasodepressor syncope. OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of bradycardic hypotension and to test the hypothesis that dialysis patients are predisposed to vasodepressor syncope. RESULTS: Sixty hypotensive episodes were recorded in 20 patients (> or = 2 episodes in 15 patients). Heart rate increased in 35 episodes, did not change in 19 episodes and decreased in six episodes. The HR response pattern to hypotension was reproducible in 10 patients (always tachycardia, 6; always unchanged heart rate 4). Patients developing bradycardic hypotension (n = 5) all had an erratic HR response to hypotension (i.e. bradycardia preceded or followed by tachycardia or by no HR change) and were characterized either by the typical haemodynamic pattern of hypovolaemia (predialysis hypotension, tachycardia and low TBW) or by being treated with a very high UF rate (> 0.3 ml/kg/min). Post-dialysis echocardiography showed that the LVEDD was less (one-tailed P = 0.055) in patients with bradycardic hypotension than in those with tachycardic responses or with unchanged HR. On tilt testing (after dialysis) three of 11 (27%) dialysis hypotensive patients developed bradycardic hypotension. This proportion was identical to that expected in healthy subjects and in control patients without syncope. CONCLUSIONS: Tachycardia is the more frequent heart rate response to dialysis hypotension in uraemic patients. Bradycardic hypotension in dialysis patients is associated with a haemodynamic profile indicating a more severe degree of cardiovascular underfilling. Bradycardic hypotension probably represents a physiological response to hypovolaemia rather than the expression of a peculiar predisposition to vasodepressor syncope.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.