Background. Hemodialysis related hemodynamic instability is a major but an underestimated issue. Moreover, cardiovascular events are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality associated with blood pressure in hemodialysis patients. However, there have been many controversies regarding the role and management of hyper-and/or hypotension during hemodialysis that needs to be addressed.
Objective. To critically review the available published data on the atypical role of hyper-and/or hypotension in cardiovascular associated morbidity and mortality in patients on hemodialysis and to understand the discrepancies in this context.
Methods. A comprehensive search of literature employing electronic as well as manual sources and screening 2783 papers published between Jan 1980 and Oct 2015 was conducted to collect, identify, and analyze relevant information through peer-reviewed research articles, systematic reviews, and other published works. The cardiovascular events, including accelerated atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), stroke, heart failure, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia, and stress induced myocardial dysfunction, leading to death were considered relevant.
Results. A total of 23 published articles met the inclusion criteria and were included for in-depth review and analysis to finalize a comprehensive systematic review article. All the studies showed a significant association between the blood pressure and cardiovascular disease events in hemodialysis patients.
Conclusions. Both intradialytic hypertension/hypotension episodes are major risk factors for cardiovascular mortality with a high percentage of probable causality; however, clinicians are faced with a dilemma on how to evaluate blood pressure and treat this condition.