End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is associated with a broad spectrum of morphological and functional thyroid disorders. Recent studies have shown that low free triiodothyronine (fT3) levels are related to inflammatory status and endothelial activation in ESRD patients on haemodialysis (HD). Limited data exist about a possible relationship between dialysis regimen, namely long nocturnal haemodialysis (LNHD), and thyroid function parameters. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between dialysis regimen and thyroid function, and consequently with the main patient outcomes.
To this purpose, we performed a retrospective, single-centre cohort study including 220 incident chronic HD patients treated during an 8-year period (from January 2010 to December 2017). The main clinical and haematochemical parameters, including thyroid function, were evaluated and related to the main patient outcomes.
Patients with low fT3 levels (<3.05 ng/mL) showed significantly lower survival rates than patients with normal fT3 levels (>3.05 ng/mL) (P < 0.001), although there were no substantial differences in the demographic and clinical characteristics between the two groups. After propensity score 1:3 matching of 25 patients treated with nocturnal HD to 75 patients treated with diurnal HD, LNHD patients showed significantly higher survival rates (88.0% versus 61.3%, P = 0.001) and lower incidence of cardiovascular events than patients on diurnal dialysis (8.0% versus 40.0%, P = 0.001). Moreover, an 8-year time-dependent analysis showed that at any time, except for baseline, the rate of patients with fT3 levels >3.05 ng/mL was significantly higher in LNHD patients than in patients treated with diurnal dialysis.
Our data suggest that the application of alternative dialysis regimens, also reducing the frequency of low T3, could ameliorate outcomes and therefore reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events in HD patients.
- cardiovascular risk, haemodialysis, long nocturnal haemodialysis, low fT3 serum levels