New evidence of the benefits of home dialysis for kidney patients

June 21, 2011, St. Michael's Hospital

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have found more evidence of the benefits of home dialysis for patients with kidney failure.

Cells that help protect blood vessels work better in patients who undergo dialysis at home during the night than those who undergo standard daytime dialysis in a hospital, according to Dr. Darren Yuen, a .

This is important for patients with , which causes damage to the that line blood vessels and help control the flow of blood. While standard dialysis in hospital is helpful for treating kidney failure, many patients still develop blood vessel damage that can lead to problems with walking or even .

Dr. Yuen studied the function of cells called early-outgrowth endothelial progenitor-like cells (EPLCs). These cells, found in bone marrow and in the blood, can protect damaged endothelial cells and promote the growth of new ones, leading to healthier blood vessels.

Dr. Yuen compared patients who receive home dialysis at night with patients receiving standard dialysis three times a week in hospital. He found that EPLCs from patients receiving home dialysis promoted new blood vessel growth better than EPLCs from patients on standard hospital dialysis.

The results of his research appear in the June issue of the .

In his study, done in collaboration with the University Health Network, Dr. Yuen injected EPLCs from people receiving hospital dialysis into rats with blood vessel damage. He found no added improvements in or .

But when he injected EPLCs from patients undergoing nighttime dialysis at home, the results were almost as good as if the cells had come from healthy people.

Since home dialysis lasts for six to eight hours a night, five to six times a week, the toxins and other waste products that build up in kidney failure are more effectively removed, he said. The greater removal of these toxins may be responsible for the better function of EPLCs from patients on home dialysis, he said.

Dr. Yuen said his study suggests that frequent nighttime dialysis might be better for some patients with blood vessel damage. Nocturnal home hemodialysis originated in Toronto in 1994 at the Wellesley Hospital, which later merged with St. Michael's. St. Michael's also offers conventional hospital dialysis as well as another form of home dialysis known as peritoneal dialysis, in which cleansing fluids are pumped into a patient's abdomen through a catheter tube and waste products are drained several times a day.

Previous research has found that in addition to the convenience, patients on nighttime home dialysis feel better and have more energy when compared with patients who undergo conventional hospital dialysis.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.