Journal Article

Intra- and post-dialytic changes of haemoglobin concentrations in non-anaemic haemodialysis patients

Roberto Minutolo, Luca De Nicola, Vincenzo Bellizzi, Carmela Iodice, Roberto Rubino, Filippo Aucella, Carmine Stallone, Felice Nappi, Ferdinando Avella, Eleonora Maione, Giuseppe Conte and Biagio R. Di Iorio

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 18, issue 12, pages 2606-2612
Published in print December 2003 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online December 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Intra- and post-dialytic changes of haemoglobin concentrations in non-anaemic haemodialysis patients

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Background. Non-anaemic haemodialysis (HD) patients are potentially more prone to the adverse effects of ultrafiltration-induced haemoconcentration. No study, however, has assessed the effects of dialytic session on haemoglobin (Hb) levels in these patients.

Methods. The levels of Hb and total protein before, at the end (T0) and up to 120 min (T120) after the third HD session of the week were compared in non-anaemic (Hb >13 g/dl, n = 14, NOR) and anaemic (Hb= 11–12 g/dl, n = 18, LOW) HD patients.

Results. The intradialytic weight loss was similar in the two groups (4.0 ± 0.9 and 4.1 ± 0.9% body weight). During the treatment, Hb levels increased to the same extent in both groups (from 14.4 ± 1.2 to 16.3 ± 1.9  g/dl in NOR, and from 11.4 ± 0.8 to 12.7 ± 0.9 g/dl in LOW) in the presence, presumably, of a smaller plasma volume in NOR, whereas the increment of total protein was greater in NOR (from 7.1 ± 0.2 to 9.6 ± 0.5 g/dl) than in LOW (from 7.3 ± 0.6 to 8.7 ± 0.8 g/dl) (P < 0.0001). At T120, the Hb decline in NOR was almost double that measured in LOW (−9.2 ± 3.0 vs −4.7 ± 2.4%, P < 0.001). Consequently, Hb concentration did not differ from the pre-dialytic value in NOR (P = 0.10), but persisted higher in LOW (P < 0.005). The extent of the post-dialytic decrement of Hb was inversely related to the total protein values at T0 (r = −0.547, P = 0.0012).

Conclusions. This study indicates that in NOR: (i) the extent of intradialytic increment of Hb is limited by a greater intradialytic plasma refilling; (ii) the greater plasma refilling persists after the end of dialysis, with the restoration of pre-dialytic Hb levels within the initial 2 h; and (iii) the force driving this phenomenon resides mainly in the larger changes of total protein concentration.

Keywords: anaemia; haematocrit; haemodialysis; haemoglobin; plasma refilling; serum protein

Journal Article.  4020 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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