# Effects of hemodialysis on blood volume, macro- and microvascular function

Montero, David; Haider, Thomas; Nägele, Matthias P; Barthelmes, Jens; Cantatore, Silviya; Sudano, Isabella; Ruschitzka, Frank; Bonani, Marco; Flammer, Andreas J (2020). Effects of hemodialysis on blood volume, macro- and microvascular function. Microvascular Research, 129:103958.

## Abstract

BACKGROUND

Vascular dysfunction is considered to spur the progression of cardiovascular disease in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Whether the HD procedure itself contributes to vascular dysfunction remains incompletely investigated. The present study sought to comprehensively assess the effects of HD on arterial and venous function along with concomitant changes in blood volume (BV).

METHODS AND RESULTS

We determined BV with high-precision, automated carbon monoxide-rebreathing, arterial stiffness using applanation tonometry and intrinsic microvascular function via retinal vessel analysis prior to and after conventional 4-hour HD in fasting-controlled conditions in 10 patients. All HD patients were non-smokers and non-obese (body mass index = 22.8 ± 2.8 m·kg$^{-2}$). Hypertension (70%), coronary artery disease (40%) and diabetes mellitus (20%) were the most prevalent comorbidities. Prior to HD, all patients presented with hypervolemia (+2208 ± 1213 ml). HD decreased body weight (-1.72 ± 1.25 kg, P = 0.002) and plasma volume (-689 ± 566 ml, P = 0.004), while hematocrit (Hct) was concomitantly increased (+4.8 ± 4.5%, P = 0.009). HD did not affect large elastic artery stiffness, as determined by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (P = 0.448) and carotid distensibility (P = 0.562). In contrast, flicker light-induced retinal venular dilation was reduced by three-fourths after HD (-2.4 ± 1.7%, P = 0.039), in parallel to increased retinal venular diameter (+11.2 ± 4.9 μm, P = 0.002). In regression analyses, a negative association was observed between HD-induced changes in Hct and retinal venular dilation (r ≥ -0.89, P ≤ 0.045).

CONCLUSION

Conventional HD resulting in substantial plasma volume removal do not alter large artery elastic properties, whereas intrinsic microvascular venular dilator function is markedly impaired, an effect directly associated with the increase in hemoconcentration.

## Abstract

BACKGROUND

Vascular dysfunction is considered to spur the progression of cardiovascular disease in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Whether the HD procedure itself contributes to vascular dysfunction remains incompletely investigated. The present study sought to comprehensively assess the effects of HD on arterial and venous function along with concomitant changes in blood volume (BV).

METHODS AND RESULTS

We determined BV with high-precision, automated carbon monoxide-rebreathing, arterial stiffness using applanation tonometry and intrinsic microvascular function via retinal vessel analysis prior to and after conventional 4-hour HD in fasting-controlled conditions in 10 patients. All HD patients were non-smokers and non-obese (body mass index = 22.8 ± 2.8 m·kg$^{-2}$). Hypertension (70%), coronary artery disease (40%) and diabetes mellitus (20%) were the most prevalent comorbidities. Prior to HD, all patients presented with hypervolemia (+2208 ± 1213 ml). HD decreased body weight (-1.72 ± 1.25 kg, P = 0.002) and plasma volume (-689 ± 566 ml, P = 0.004), while hematocrit (Hct) was concomitantly increased (+4.8 ± 4.5%, P = 0.009). HD did not affect large elastic artery stiffness, as determined by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (P = 0.448) and carotid distensibility (P = 0.562). In contrast, flicker light-induced retinal venular dilation was reduced by three-fourths after HD (-2.4 ± 1.7%, P = 0.039), in parallel to increased retinal venular diameter (+11.2 ± 4.9 μm, P = 0.002). In regression analyses, a negative association was observed between HD-induced changes in Hct and retinal venular dilation (r ≥ -0.89, P ≤ 0.045).

CONCLUSION

Conventional HD resulting in substantial plasma volume removal do not alter large artery elastic properties, whereas intrinsic microvascular venular dilator function is markedly impaired, an effect directly associated with the increase in hemoconcentration.

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