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      Hypokalemia Is Associated with Increased Mortality Rate in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients

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          Background: Both hypokalemia (hypoK) and hyperkalemia (hyperK) are life-threatening to hemodialysis (HD) patients. This study was conducted to compare their clinical characteristics and long-term survival. Methods: Patients were divided into three groups according to the last mid-week predialysis serum potassium concentrations: hypoK (<3.5 mEq/l), normoK (between 3.5 and 5.5 mEq/l), and hyperK (>5.5 mEq/l). The maximal duration of the follow-up period was 54 months. Results: Compared with the hyperK group,patients in the hypoK group were older (p <0.05), had a higher incidence of comorbidity factors, less body weight gain prior to HD (p < 0.05), lower body mass index (BMI, p < 0.05), and higher BUN to creatinine ratio and hs-CRP (p < 0.05). The serum albumin and prealbumin concentrations were also lowest in the hypoK group, compared with the normoK and hyperK groups, respectively (all p < 0.001). A similar finding was also obtained for the normalized protein catabolism rate (nPCR, p < 0.001) among the three groups. Positive linear correlations between serum albumin and potassium concentration were only found in the hypoK and normoK groups (p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that hypoalbuminemia, low BUN, and phosphate concentrations were significantly correlated with hypoK. HypoK patients also had a lower cumulative survival rate than hyperK patients. Conclusion: HypoK HD patients, with lower serum levels of albumin, prealbumin, nPCR, and BMI, but higher level of hs-CRP, showed a malnutritional and inflammatory status, and caused increased mortality rate.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Strong association between malnutrition, inflammation, and atherosclerosis in chronic renal failure.

          Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and malnutrition are widely recognized as leading causes of the increased morbidity and mortality observed in uremic patients. C-reactive protein (CRP), an acute-phase protein, is a predictor of cardiovascular mortality in nonrenal patient populations. In chronic renal failure (CRF), the prevalence of an acute-phase response has been associated with an increased mortality. One hundred and nine predialysis patients (age 52 +/- 1 years) with terminal CRF (glomerular filtration rate 7 +/- 1 ml/min) were studied. By using noninvasive B-mode ultrasonography, the cross-sectional carotid intima-media area was calculated, and the presence or absence of carotid plaques was determined. Nutritional status was assessed by subjective global assessment (SGA), dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), serum albumin, serum creatinine, serum urea, and 24-hour urine urea excretion. The presence of an inflammatory reaction was assessed by CRP, fibrinogen (N = 46), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha; N = 87). Lipid parameters, including Lp(a) and apo(a)-isoforms, as well as markers of oxidative stress (autoantibodies against oxidized low-density lipoprotein and vitamin E), were also determined. Compared with healthy controls, CRF patients had an increased mean carotid intima-media area (18.3 +/- 0.6 vs. 13.2 +/- 0.7 mm2, P or = 10 mg/liter). Malnourished patients had higher CRP levels (23 +/- 3 vs. 13 +/- 2 mg/liter, P < 0.01), elevated calculated intima-media area (20.2 +/- 0.8 vs. 16.9 +/- 0.7 mm2, P < 0.01) and a higher prevalence of carotid plaques (90 vs. 60%, P < 0.0001) compared with well-nourished patients. During stepwise multivariate analysis adjusting for age and gender, vitamin E (P < 0.05) and CRP (P < 0.05) remained associated with an increased intima-media area. The presence of carotid plaques was significantly associated with age (P < 0.001), log oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL; P < 0.01), and small apo(a) isoform size (P < 0.05) in a multivariate logistic regression model. These results indicate that the rapidly developing atherosclerosis in advanced CRF appears to be caused by a synergism of different mechanisms, such as malnutrition, inflammation, oxidative stress, and genetic components. Apart from classic risk factors, low vitamin E levels and elevated CRP levels are associated with an increased intima-media area, whereas small molecular weight apo(a) isoforms and increased levels of oxLDL are associated with the presence of carotid plaques.
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            Serum and dialysate potassium concentrations and survival in hemodialysis patients.

            Controlling serum potassium is an important goal in maintenance hemodialysis patients. We examined the achievement of potassium balance through hemodialysis treatments and the associated fluctuations in serum potassium. A 3-yr (July 2001 to June 2004) cohort of 81,013 maintenance hemodialysis patients from all DaVita dialysis clinics across the United States were studied. Nine quarterly-averaged serum potassium groups ( or = 6.3 mEq/L and seven increments in-between) and four dialysate potassium concentration groups were created in each of the 12 calendar quarters. The death risk associated with predialysis potassium level and dialysate potassium concentration was examined using unadjusted, case-mix adjusted, and malnutrition-inflammation-adjusted time-dependent survival models. Serum potassium correlated with nutritional markers. Serum potassium between 4.6 and 5.3 mEq/L was associated with the greatest survival, whereas potassium or = 5.6 mEq/L was associated with increased mortality. The death risk of serum potassium > or = 5.6 mEq/L remained consistent after adjustments. Higher dialysate potassium concentration was associated with increased mortality in hyperkalemic patients with predialysis serum potassium > or = 5.0 mEq/L. A predialysis serum potassium of 4.6 to 5.3 mEq/L is associated with the greatest survival in maintenance hemodialysis patients. Hyperkalemic patients who undergo maintenance hemodialysis against lower dialysate bath may have better survival. Limitations of observational studies including confounding by indication should be considered when interpreting these results.
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              Revisiting mortality predictability of serum albumin in the dialysis population: time dependency, longitudinal changes and population-attributable fraction.

              Hypoalbuminaemia is a marker of malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome (MICS) and a strong predictor of cardiovascular (CV) death in maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) patients. However, serum albumin may change over time. Hence, its time-varying associations with outcome may be different. Associations between 3-month averaged serum albumin levels, measured in a single laboratory using bromocresol green, and CV mortality were studied longitudinally in a 2-year cohort of 58,058 MHD patients. Mortality predictability of fixed baseline and trimonthly-varying serum albumin concentrations were compared. Hazard ratios (HRs) of CV death strictly increased across decrements of baseline serum albumin, whereas the HR for time-varying serum albumin decrements below 3.8 g/dl did not differ. A drop in serum albumin in the first 6 months was associated with increasing all-cause and CV death risks in the subsequent 18 months, while a rise in serum albumin was a predictor of better survival independent of baseline serum albumin. The multivariate adjusted population-attributable fraction of death due to baseline serum albumin 3.8 g/dl might reduce the number of MHD deaths in the USA by approximately 10,000 annually. Nutritional interventions examining benefits of increasing serum albumin in MHD patients are urgently needed.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                November 2011
                18 August 2011
                : 32
                : 4
                : 254-261
                aDivision of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chi Mei Medical Center, and bSin-Lau Christian Hospital, Tainan, cKaohsiung Medical University Hospital and dDepartment of Renal Care, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC
                Author notes
                *Hung-Chun Chen, MD, PhD, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Tzyou First Road, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan (ROC), Tel. +886 7 312 1101, ext. 7351, E-Mail chenhc@kmu.edu.tw
                325226 Blood Purif 2011;32:254–261
                © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 5, Pages: 8
                Original Paper


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