Suboptimal initiation of conventional hemodialysis is associated with poor clinical outcomes. In this study, we aimed to ascertain the determinants and adverse events associated with suboptimal starts in home hemodialysis (HHD).
We conducted a retrospective cohort study including consecutive incident HHD patients from January 1996 to December 2011. All patients had HHD as their first renal replacement therapy or returned to HHD after kidney transplantation. A suboptimal start was defined by dialysis initiation as an inpatient or with a central venous catheter. The primary outcome was time to first hospitalization, technique failure or death. Secondary outcomes included hospitalization rate, hospital days and determinants of suboptimal starts. Suboptimal starts were further categorized as unavoidable as adjudicated by two independent observers with prespecified criteria.
Among 95 incident HHD patients, 44 (46%) and 51 (54%) had optimal and suboptimal starts, respectively. A suboptimal start was associated with a shorter time to the primary outcome (log-rank p