The world’s first MRI study of the effect of kidney disease on heart function shows that the necessary dialysis treatments for those with kidney failure can cause heart damage.
Recent research conducted by the University of Nottingham used magnetic resonance imaging to study the stress placed on patients’ hearts while they underwent kidney dialysis. The study compared the effects of two different types of dialysis on the heart—hemodialysis and hemodiafiltration.
They noted the amount of blood pumped per minute by the left ventricle, as well as how efficiently the muscle could contract, as well as blood flow into the coronary artery, and found that cardiac function suffered while the patient underwent both forms of dialysis, with some recovery after the treatment.
Professor of Nephrology at the University of Nottingham, Maarten Taal, summarized their findings, noting that “All patients showed some degree of left ventricular dysfunction and blood flow to the small capillaries in the heart muscle decreased significantly during both types of treatment.” While the sample size tested was small, 100% of patients’ cardiac function was negatively impacted by the dialysis treatments, raising concern.
But for many patients, dialysis is not something they can casually say no thanks to. That causes even greater problems. More research is required so that doctors can treat chronic kidney disease by dialysis without causing heart problems.
A summary of this report can be read here