The determination of dry weight (DW) in young children on hemodialysis (HD) remains challenging. Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) is a potentially helpful means of estimating the need for ultrafiltration and monitoring body fluids in patients on renal replacement therapy, but its role has not yet been clearly defined. The aim of this paper is to share our experience of prescribing ultrafiltration on the basis of BIA parameters alone. The body weight (BW), resistance (Rx), and reactance (Xc) of a 3-year-old girl on chronic HD were recorded pre- and post-HD over a period of 16 months. The BIA parameter that best correlated with actual ultrafiltration (the difference between pre- and post-HD BW) was identified, and the equivalence between actual ultrafiltration and changes in Xc was derived to obtain the following equation: 1 ohm of Xc = 27.4 g of ultrafiltration. Finally, during 21 consecutive HD sessions, ultrafiltration was exclusively prescribed on the basis of the derived equation (BIA-based prescription) after having defined a target post-HD Xc of 45 ohm. The BIA-based prescription period was compared with 21 consecutive HD sessions in which ultrafiltration was prescribed using the conventional approach based on BW (BWbased prescription). Comparison of BIAbased and BW-based ultrafiltration prescription showed significantly fewer HD sessions complicated by hypotension (19 vs. 50%) or by the need for reinfusion (5 vs. 50%), and a better overall quality of HD sessions (86 vs. 37%). No difference in blood pressure was observed, and no acute fluid overload event was detected in either period. BIA-based ultrafiltration seems to be safe, feasible, and effective. The described approach can be particularly useful in the case of patients with problems in setting or maintaining the correct DW.
- Hemodialysis prescription in children
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