It had been suggested that larger hemodialysis (HD) doses in children could result in better appetite, higher protein intake, better nutritional status and better growth. We investigated how different HD doses affect protein intake and nutritional status of children on chronic HD. Indices of nutritional status used were normalized protein catabolic rate (nPCR) calculated by formal 3-sample urea kinetic modeling and serum albumin level. Data of 38 HD sessions in 15 stable patients (6 males, 9 females) aged 14.5 ± 3.28 years (mean ± SD) were analyzed. HD sessions were divided into three groups based on delivered Kt/V: group 1 (n = 5), inadequate (Kt/V < 1.3, mean 1.05 ± 0.14); group 2 (n = 12), adequate (Kt/V = 1.3–1.6, mean 1.50 ± 0.07) and group 3 (n = 21), high (Kt/V >1.6, mean 1.94 ± 0.22). Mean nPCR and Kt/V per patient during the studied week were estimated for 11 patients in whom 3 HD sessions were available within the 38 sessions analyzed. Serum albumin level was adequate in all patients (43.77 ± 2.28 g/l). Mean overall Kt/V and nPCR were 1.68 ± 0.36 and 1.26 ± 0.23, respectively, r = 0.430. Average nPCR differed between groups depending on Kt/V. It was lowest in group 1 (1.01 ± 0.12 g/kg/day) where the highest correlation between nPCR and Kt/V was found (r = 0.648). nPCR was higher and similar in groups 2 (1.27 ± 0.23 g/kg/day) and 3 (1.31 ± 0.22 g/kg/day), with low correlation coefficients between nPCR and Kt/V in both groups (r = 0.275 and r = 0.197, respectively). A weak positive correlation (r = 0.249) between nPCR and Kt/V was found when average weekly values per patient (n = 11) were analyzed. Results of groups 1 and 2 confirm, what is already well established in adults, that adequate dialysis needs to be achieved in order to insure good protein intake. However, our data clearly show that nPCR did not increase with a further increase in delivered HD dose, i.e. Kt/V >1.6. Our results show that the nutritional status of children on chronic HD does not seem to benefit from very high HD doses (Kt/V >1.6).

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