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    Numerous outcome studies and interventional trials in hemodialysis (HD) patients are based on uremic toxin concentrations determined at one single or a limited number of time points. The reliability of these studies however entirely depends on how representative these cross-sectional concentrations are. We therefore investigated the variability of predialysis concentrations of uremic toxins over time. Prospectively collected predialysis serum samples of the midweek session of week 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, and 16 were analyzed for a panel of uremic toxins in stable chronic HD patients (N = 18) while maintaining dialyzer type and dialysis mode during the study period. Concentrations of the analyzed uremic toxins varied substantially between individuals, but also within stable HD patients (intra-patient variability). For urea, creatinine, beta-2-microglobulin, and some protein-bound uremic toxins, Intra-class Correlation Coefficient (ICC) was higher than 0.7. However, for phosphorus, uric acid, symmetric and asymmetric dimethylarginine, and the protein-bound toxins hippuric acid and indoxyl sulfate, ICC values were below 0.7, implying a concentration variability within the individual patient even exceeding 65% of the observed inter-patient variability. Intra-patient variability may affect the interpretation of the association between a single concentration of certain uremic toxins and outcomes. When performing future outcome and interventional studies with uremic toxins other than described here, one should quantify their intra-patient variability and take into account that for solutes with a large intra-patient variability associations could be missed.


    Sunny Eloot, Wim Van Biesen, Sanne Roels, Willem Delrue, Eva Schepers, Annemieke Dhondt, Raymond Vanholder, Griet Glorieux. Spontaneous variability of pre-dialysis concentrations of uremic toxins over time in stable hemodialysis patients. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0186010

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    PMID: 29016645

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