Nighttime Dialysis Repairs the Damage

Dialysis at home during the night is better for kidney failure patients' blood vessels

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Going to a dialysis center day after day can be a huge strain on people with kidney failure. That's why many patients do dialysis at home. Now, there may be another reason to do dialysis at home.

The cells that protect blood vessels work better when kidney failure patients do dialysis at home during the night instead of during the day at a hospital. Doing dialysis at a hospital is helpful for patients dealing with kidney failure. However, many of the patients who do dialysis in the hospital still get blood vessel damage, which can lead to walking problems and sometimes amputation.

"Dialysis at home can protect your heart health."

According to Darren Yuen, M.D., a nephrologist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and author of this recent study, these findings suggest that doing regular nighttime dialysis at home may be better for kidney failure patients with blood vessel damage.

Past studies have shown that kidney failure patients who do nighttime dialysis at home feel better and have more energy than those who do dialysis at the hospital.

For his study, Dr. Yuen looked at how certain cells (called early-outgrowth endothelial progenitor-like cells, or EPLCs) worked. These cells can protect other damaged cells and help make new ones, which leads to healthier blood vessels.

Dr. Yuen studied the function of EPLCs in kidney failure patients who did dialysis at home during the night to those in patients who did dialysis three times a week in a hospital.

EPLCs in patients doing nighttime home dialysis boosted the growth of new blood vessels better than the EPLCs in patients who did normal hospital dialysis.

Dr. Yuen also tested patients' EPLCs in rats. He injected the cells from people doing hospital dialysis into rats with damaged blood vessels. These EPLCs did not make blood vessel growth or blood circulation any better.

However, the EPLCs from patients doing nighttime home dialysis improved blood vessel growth and blood circulation in rats as if the cells had from healthy people.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 21, 2011
Last Updated:
June 22, 2011