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Lowering Postdialysis Plasma Sodium (Conductivity) to Increase Sodium Removal in Volume-Expanded Hemodialysis Patients: A Pilot Study Using a Biofeedback Software System

American Journal of Kidney Diseases
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.12.037
  • Plasma Conductivity
  • Sodium Balance
  • Body-Water Compartments
  • Blood Pressure
  • Interdialytic Weight Gain
  • Hemodialysis
  • Education
  • Medicine


Background Extracellular fluid expansion is common in hemodialysis patients. Aggressive fluid removal may lead to intradialytic complications. High dialysate sodium concentrations may lessen complications, but may increase extracellular volume. We hypothesized that decreasing plasma sodium concentration during dialysis will increase sodium removal and decrease extracellular volume. Study Design Pilot clinical trial. Setting & Participants 16 patients with end-stage kidney disease treated using thrice-weekly hemodialysis at a university teaching hospital hemodialysis unit. Intervention Stepwise decrease in postdialysis plasma sodium level (calculated as end-of-session plasma conductivity) over 4 phases effected by dialysate conductivity measurement cells and a biofeedback software system (Diacontrol; Hospal, that allowed alteration of dialysate inlet conductivity and calculation of plasma conductivity. Outcomes Decrease in postdialysis plasma sodium (conductivity) levels, sodium removal, redistribution of body water, and effect of these on interdialytic weight gain and blood pressure. Measurements Plasma sodium and conductivity values (the latter measured in millisiemens per centimeter); ionic mass balance (sodium removal); bioelectrical impedance analysis measurements of body-water compartments and phase angle; interdialytic weight gain; and blood pressure. Results Plasma sodium concentrations at the end of dialysis were decreased from 137.8 (phase 1) to 135.6 mmol/L (phase 4) and end-of-session plasma conductivity values were decreased from 14.0 (phase 1) to 13.5 mS/cm (phase 4; all mean values). Ionic mass balance increased from 383 to 480 mmol. Extracellular water was significantly decreased, phase angle was increased, and blood pressure and interdialytic weight gain were decreased. Plasma sodium levels correlated significantly with plasma conductivity; thus, changes in postdialysis plasma sodium levels can be inferred from changes in end-of-session plasma conductivity values. Limitations Small number of patients. No information for dietary sodium intake. Conclusion To decrease extracellular volume, it may be necessary to add diffusive to convective sodium losses.

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