Study To Test Whether More Frequent Dialysis Will Improve Outcomes

March 26, 2004

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will participate in a multi-center clinical trial to determine if patients benefit from receiving dialysis in a dialysis center more than three times per week

The study will compare patients who get dialysis six times a week with those who are on the standard dialysis plan: three times a week for about four hours, according to Michael Rocco, M.D., principal investigator for the study at Wake Forest Baptist.

At least 150 patients will be randomly assigned to one or the other. Those patients assigned to the six-times-per-week therapy will receive dialysis for two to three hours for each treatment. More frequent dialysis may prevent the buildup of urea and other poisons, thus improving outcomes.

In this trial, which will involve a number of centers throughout the United States, the NIH grant to Wake Forest Baptist is $188,000. G. John Chen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of public health sciences - social sciences and health policy, will assist in developing an economic analysis for this trial. The researchers will determine whether more frequent dialysis will change rates of hospitalization and improve blood pressure, blood counts, diet or quality of life. Rocco said that the in-center dialysis trial probably would be conducted at one or two of the Winston-Salem dialysis centers. The study will begin accepting patients in the fall of 2004. ###

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