Interplay of volume, blood pressure, organ ischemia, residual renal function, and diet: certainties and uncertainties with dialytic management

Ercan Ok, Nathan W. Levin, Gulay Asci, Charles Chazot, Huseyin Toz, Mehmet Ozkahya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Extracellular fluid volume overload and its inevitable consequence, hypertension, increases cardiovascular mortality in the long term by leading to left ventricular hypertrophy, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease in dialysis patients. Unlike antihypertensive medications, a strict volume control strategy provides optimal blood pressure control without need for antihypertensive drugs. However, utilization of this strategy has remained limited because of several factors, including the absence of a gold standard method to assess volume status, difficulties in reducing extracellular fluid volume, and safety concerns associated with reduction of extracellular volume. These include intradialytic hypotension; ischemia of heart, brain, and gut; loss of residual renal function; and vascular access thrombosis. Comprehensibly, physicians are hesitant to follow strict volume control policy because of these safety concerns. Current data, however, suggest that a high ultrafiltration rate rather than the reduction in excess volume is related to these complications. Restriction of dietary salt intake, increased frequency, and/or duration of hemodialysis sessions or addition of temporary extra sessions during the process of gradually reducing postdialysis body weight in conventional hemodialysis and discontinuation of antihypertensive medications may prevent these complications. We believe that even if an unwanted effect occurs while gradually reaching euvolemia, this is likely to be counterbalanced by favorable cardiovascular outcomes such as regression of left ventricular hypertrophy, prevention of heart failure, and, ultimately, cardiovascular mortality as a result of the eventual achievement of normal extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure over the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-429
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Dialysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


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