Despite significant technical improvements, hemodialysis in infants with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is still associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The files of patients weighing less than 15 kg with ESRD who were treated with hemodialysis at our institute between 1995 and 2005 were reviewed for background and treatment characteristics, morbidity and outcome. The study group included 11 patients aged 7-75 months (mean 34.2 months) weighing 7.2-14.9 kg (mean 10.9 kg). Mean duration of dialysis was 11.3 months. Vascular access posed the major problem. Ten patients were dialyzed through a central venous cuffed catheter and one through an arteriovenous fistula. An average of three different vascular accesses was required per patient (range 1-9). Mechanical difficulties were the most common cause of central-line removal (56.5%), followed by infections (15.6%). Major complications causing significant morbidity were intradialytic hemodynamic instability, hyperkalemia, coagulation within the dialysis set, anemia, hypertension, inadequate fluid removal, and recurrent hospitalizations. Analysis of outcome revealed that eight patients underwent successful transplantation, one returned for hemodialysis after 4.5 years due to graft failure, and two died. Hemodialysis is a suitable option for low-weight pediatric patients with ESRD awaiting transplantation when performed in highly qualified centers.
- End-stage renal failure
- Hemodynamic instability