Ideal Timing and Predialysis Nephrology Care Duration for Dialysis Initiation: From Analysis of Japanese Dialysis Initiation Survey


Professor Kunihiro Yamagata, Department of Nephrology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Ten-oudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan. Email:


Previous studies have suggested that early initiation of dialysis therapy was not superior in terms of patient survival. In this study, we analyzed the effects of renal function at the start of renal replacement therapy (RRT), duration of nephrology care, and comorbidity on 12-month survival of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The subjects in this study were 9695 new ESRD patients who started RRT in 2007. The average age of the subjects was 67.5 years, 64.1% of the subjects were male, and 42.9% had diabetes. During the 12-month period after the start of RRT, 1546 patients died, and 35 patients received renal transplantation. Average estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at the initiation of dialysis was 6.52 ± 4.20 mL/min/1.73 m2. By unadjusted logistic analysis, one-year Odds Ratio (OR) of mortality in patients with eGFR more than 4–6 mL/min/1.73 m2 was increased with increased eGFR at dialysis initiation, but the OR was identical among the groups with eGFR less than 4 mL/min/1.73 m2. After adjustment for age, gender, underlying renal diseases, and other clinical characteristics at dialysis initiation, OR was identical among the groups with eGFR less than 8 mL/min/1.73 m2. Furthermore, an OR increment was observed in eGFR less than 4 mL/min/1.73 m2 group. In terms of the duration of nephrology care before dialysis initiation, 6 months or longer of nephrology care significantly decreased the OR of mortality after adjustment of covariance. Not only patients with sufficient residual renal function at the initiation of dialysis, but also patients with very low eGFR at the initiation of dialysis showed poor survival.