Renal Function Recovery in Chronic Dialysis Patients

Authors

  • Jay K. Chu,

    1. Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York
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  • Vaughn W. Folkert

    1. Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York
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Address correspondence to: Vaughn W. Folkert, MD, Baumritter Kidney Center, 1325 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, Tel.: 718-828-6840, or email: vfolkert@montefiore.org.

Abstract

Renal function recovery (RFR) from acute kidney injury requiring dialysis occurs at a high frequency. RFR from chronic dialysis, on the other hand, is an uncommon but well-recognized phenomenon, occurring at a rate of 1.0–2.4% according to data from large observational studies. The underlying etiology of renal failure is the single most important predicting factor of RFR in chronic dialysis patients. The disease types with the highest RFR rates are atheroembolic renal disease, systemic autoimmune disease, renovascular diseases, and scleroderma. The disease types with the lowest RFR rates are diabetic nephropathy and cystic kidney disease. Initial dialysis modality does not appear to influence RFR. Careful observation and history taking are needed to recognize the often nonspecific clinical and laboratory signs of RFR. When RFR is suspected in a chronic dialysis patient, a 24-hour urine urea and creatinine clearance should be measured. Based on the renal clearance, along with other clinical factors, the dialysis prescription may be gradually reduced until a complete discontinuation of dialysis. After RFR from maintenance dialysis, patients require close follow-up in an office setting for chronic kidney disease management.

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