Outcomes of patients with end-stage renal disease at urgent dialysis initiation are varied, but evidence of their long-term prognosis is limited. We aimed to characterize patients undergoing urgent dialysis initiation and analyse its effect on survival outcome.
We retrospectively identified 208 patients who began haemodialysis from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2018 at our hospital. In this observational case-control study, the case group comprised patients starting urgent dialysis, and the control group comprised patients starting planned dialysis. We analysed laboratory data, sex, age, smoking history, comorbidities and presence of vascular access and nephrology care that potentially affected the outcome. Data were analysed with Kaplan-Meier curves of early and late period (3 years after dialysis initiation) survival and log-rank tests and with Cox regression analysis.
Median age (range) at dialysis initiation was 73 (28-90) years, with 50 (24%) patients in the urgent initiation group. Five (10%) patients in this group had vascular access at dialysis initiation, whereas 21 (42%) had not received adequate pre-dialysis nephrology care. The estimated median overall survival rates of the urgent group and planned initiation group were 42 months and not reached, respectively (P = 0.0011). Multivariable analysis found urgent dialysis initiation to be an independent risk factor for survival (HR 2.36; 95% CI 1.36-4.00; P = 0.02). Survival was not significantly different between the groups for patients who continued chronic dialysis for > 3 years from dialysis initiation (P = 0.1339).
The prognosis of patients starting dialysis in an urgent condition was poor compared with those who started planned dialysis.