Journal Article

Patients surviving more than 10 years on haemodialysis. The natural history of the complications of treatment.

S A Harris and E A Brown

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 13, issue 5, pages 1226-1233
Published in print May 1998 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/13.5.1226
Patients surviving more than 10 years on haemodialysis. The natural history of the complications of treatment.

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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this survey was to describe the natural history of complications in 52 long-surviving haemodialysis patients to obtain a clearer picture of the impact these patients have on the dialysis population. This is important as they are often no longer suitable for transplantation and therefore are destined to remain on dialysis for the rest of their lives. METHODS: The patients who survived for more than 10 years on haemodialysis alone were studied. Information was obtained from patients' records and from the renal unit computer. RESULTS: Mean age at start of dialysis was 43 years and mean duration of HD 14.5 years. Renal failure was most commonly due to polycystic kidney disease or glomerulonephritis. Sixty-two per cent of patients developed cardiovascular disease, 78% complained of joint pains, 72% had a parathyroidectomy, and 50% developed carpal-tunnel syndrome. Two hundred and forty-five episodes of infection were recorded, 41% related to vascular access acquired in hospital or on immunosuppression. Only three infections occurred which could be described as opportunistic. Twelve patients were hepatitis C positive. In the 37 patients who have died, cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death. Compared to other patients who started on dialysis before 1986 but who had a successful transplant the survival of patients on haemodialysis is much worse. CONCLUSION: Long-term survival on renal replacement therapy is dependent on successful transplantation. Complications, morbidity, and mortality are high after 10 years of dialysis.

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Subjects: Nephrology

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