Background. Pregnancy occurs among 1-7% of women on chronic dialysis. Experience regarding pregnancy and dialysis originates from anecdotal reports, case series and surveys. This survey updates the US nephrologists' experience with pregnancy on hemodialysis (HD) over the past 5 years. We evaluated maternal and fetal outcomes, certain practice patterns such as dialysis regimens utilized and nephrologist knowledge and comfort level when caring for a pregnant patient on HD. Methods. An anonymous Internet-based 23-question survey was e-mailed to end-stage renal disease Networks of America program directors for forwarding to practicing nephrologists. Results. A total of 196 nephrologists responded to the survey, reporting >187 pregnancies. Of the respondents, 45% had cared for pregnant females on HD and 78% of pregnancies resulted in live births. In 44% of the pregnancies a diagnosis of preeclampsia was made. There were no maternal deaths. Nephrologists most commonly prescribe 4-4.5 h of HD 6 days/week for pregnant women on dialysis. Women dialyzed cumulatively for >20 h/week were 2.2 times more likely to develop preeclampsia than those who received 20 h of HD per week. Conclusion. Providing intensive HD is a common treatment approach when dialyzing pregnant women. Maternal and fetal outcomes can be improved. There is a trend toward better live birthrates with more intense HD. Whether more cumulative hours of dialysis per week increases the risk of preeclampsia needs to be further investigated.
- National survey
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