Patients who have end-stage kidney disease must either by treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant. Most patients receive hemodialysis, for 3-4 hours, 3 days per week. Despite treatment, patients receiving hemodialysis have lower quality of life and do not live as long as people without kidney disease.
The objectives of this research are to study ways in which the hemodialysis treatment may be changed in order to improve the quality of life and survival of hemodialysis patients. Specifically, we wish to examine whether increasing the time of each dialysis session (up to 8 hours), or the frequency of sessions (up to 6 days per week), improves outcomes for patients receiving hemodialysis. We will study how medications should be dosed for frequent and long dialysis sessions. Finally, we will study what barriers exist to using frequent and long dialysis in Quebec and in Canada, and ways in which we can best implement these new therapies.
In addition to studying time and frequency, we will study whether lowering the salt concentration in the dialysis fluid improves hypertension and heart disease in dialysis patients.
This work will have significant implications for patients receiving hemodialysis in Canada, and worldwide.