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      Improvements in Renal Replacement Therapy Practice Patterns in Estonia

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          Background: The clinical performance indicators (CPI) are important tools to assess and improve the quality of renal replacement therapy (RRT). The aim of the current study was to compare the results of a longitudinal set of CPI in RRT patients and to determine the extent to which the guidelines for anaemia, calcium phosphate management and other CPI are met in Estonian renal centres. Methods: A long-term retrospective, observational, cross-sectional CPI analysis was undertaken in RRT patients from 2007 to 2011. The following CPI set of well-designed measures based on good evidence was analysed: anaemia management variables, laboratory analyses of mineral metabolism, nutritional status variables and dialysis adequacy variables. Results: Relatively small changes in the analysed mean CPI values were noticed during the study period. In the course of the study, we noticed an improvement in anaemia control, but not all centres achieved the standard of >80% of the dialysis patients with a haemoglobin (Hb) level >100 g/l. There was a trend of decreasing Hb concentrations below 125 g/l in both haemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. In 2011, hyperphosphataemia was present in 58% of the HD and 47% of the PD patients, whereas centre differences varied between 50 and 60% of both the HD and PD patients. HD adequacy was achieved in 77% of the HD patients. Conclusion: An improvement in the data collection was noticed, and the analysis of CPI allows renal centres to assess and compare their practices with others. The collection and evaluation of CPI of RRT patients is an important improvement and significantly increases the awareness of nephrologists.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome in dialysis patients: causes and consequences.

          Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and inflammation are common and usually concurrent in maintenance dialysis patients. Many factors that appear to lead to these 2 conditions overlap, as do assessment tools and such criteria for detecting them as hypoalbuminemia. Both these conditions are related to poor dialysis outcome. Low appetite and a hypercatabolic state are among common features. PEM in dialysis patients has been suggested to be secondary to inflammation; however, the evidence is not conclusive, and an equicausal status or even opposite causal direction is possible. Hence, malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome (MICS) is an appropriate term. Possible causes of MICS include comorbid illnesses, oxidative and carbonyl stress, nutrient loss through dialysis, anorexia and low nutrient intake, uremic toxins, decreased clearance of inflammatory cytokines, volume overload, and dialysis-related factors. MICS is believed to be the main cause of erythropoietin hyporesponsiveness, high rate of cardiovascular atherosclerotic disease, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality and hospitalization in dialysis patients. Because MICS leads to a low body mass index, hypocholesterolemia, hypocreatininemia, and hypohomocysteinemia, a "reverse epidemiology" of cardiovascular risks can occur in dialysis patients. Therefore, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and increased blood levels of creatinine and homocysteine appear to be protective and paradoxically associated with a better outcome. There is no consensus about how to determine the degree of severity of MICS or how to manage it. Several diagnostic tools and treatment modalities are discussed. Successful management of MICS may ameliorate the cardiovascular epidemic and poor outcome in dialysis patients. Clinical trials focusing on MICS and its possible causes and consequences are urgently required to improve poor clinical outcome in dialysis patients.
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            Death risk in hemodialysis patients: the predictive value of commonly measured variables and an evaluation of death rate differences between facilities.

            Logistic regression analysis was applied to a sample of more than 12,000 hemodialysis patients to evaluate the association of various patient descriptors, treatment time (hours/treatment), and various laboratory tests with the probability of death. Advancing age, white race, and diabetes were all associated with a significantly increased risk of death. Short dialysis times were also associated with high death risk before adjustment for the value of laboratory tests. Of the laboratory variables, low serum albumin less than 40 g/L (less than 4.0 g/dL) was most highly associated with death probability. About two thirds of patients had low albumin. These findings suggest that inadequate nutrition may be an important contributing factor to the mortality suffered by hemodialysis patients. The relative risk profiles for other laboratory tests are presented. Among these, low serum creatinine, not high, was associated with high death risk. Both serum albumin concentration and creatinine were directly correlated with treatment time so that high values for both substances were associated with long treatment times. The data suggest that physicians may select patients with high creatinine for more intense dialysis exposure and patients with low creatinine for less intense treatment. In a separate analysis, observed death rates were compared with rates expected on the basis of case mix for these 237 facilities. The data suggest substantial volatility of observed/expected ratios when facility size is small. Nonetheless, a minority of facilities (less than or equal to 2%) may have higher rates than expected when compared with the pool of all patients in this sample. The effect of various laboratory variables on mortality is substantial, while relatively few facilities have observed death rates that exceed their expected values. Therefore, we suggest that strategies designed to improve the overall mortality statistic for dialysis patients in the United States would be better directed toward improving the quality of care for all patients, particularly high-risk patients, within their usual treatment settings rather than trying to identify facilities with high death rate for possible regulatory intervention.
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              The urea reduction ratio and serum albumin concentration as predictors of mortality in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

              Among patients with end-stage renal disease who are treated with hemodialysis, solute clearance during dialysis and nutritional adequacy are determinants of mortality. We determined the effects of reductions in blood urea nitrogen concentrations during dialysis and changes in serum albumin concentrations, as an indicator of nutritional status, on mortality in a large group of patients treated with hemodialysis. We analyzed retrospectively the demographic characteristics, mortality rate, duration of hemodialysis, serum albumin concentration, and urea reduction ratio (defined as the percent reduction in blood urea nitrogen concentration during a single dialysis treatment) in 13,473 patients treated from October 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991. The risk of death was determined as a function of the urea reduction ratio and serum albumin concentration. As compared with patients with urea reduction ratios of 65 to 69 percent, patients with values below 60 percent had a higher risk of death during follow-up (odds ratio, 1.28 for urea reduction ratios of 55 to 59 percent and 1.39 for ratios below 55 percent). Fifty-five percent of the patients had urea reduction ratios below 60 percent. The duration of dialysis was not predictive of mortality. The serum albumin concentration was a more powerful (21 times greater) predictor of death than the urea reduction ratio, and 60 percent of the patients had serum albumin concentrations predictive of an increased risk of death (values below 4.0 g per deciliter). The odds ratio for death was 1.48 for serum albumin concentrations of 3.5 to 3.9 g per deciliter and 3.13 for concentrations of 3.0 to 3.4 g per deciliter. Diabetic patients had lower serum albumin concentrations and urea reduction ratios than nondiabetic patients. Low urea reduction ratios during dialysis are associated with increased odds ratios for death. These risks are worsened by inadequate nutrition.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Extra
                S. Karger AG
                May – August 2014
                10 July 2014
                : 4
                : 2
                : 108-118
                aDepartment of Internal Medicine, Tartu University, Tartu, bDepartment of Nephrology, North Estonian Regional Hospital, and cDepartment of Nephrology, West Tallinn Central Hospital, Tallinn, Estonia
                Author notes
                *Külli Kõlvald, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Tartu University, 8 Puusepa Street, EE-51014 Tartu (Estonia), E-Mail kulli.kolvald@kliinikum.ee
                363349 PMC4130824 Nephron Extra 2014;4:108-118
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) ( http://www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 1, Pages: 11
                Original Paper


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