Hypertension is prevalent in 75-80% of hemodialysis patients and remains the most controversial prognostic marker in end stage kidney disease patients. In contrast to the general population where systolic blood pressure of ≤120 mm Hg is considered normal, a debate remains regarding the ideal target blood pressure in hemodialysis patients. Using the PUBMED and EMBASE databases, the research studies that evaluated the relationship between blood pressure measurements and mortality in hemodialysis patients were searched. Thirteen studies were identified from different regions of the world. Five studies reported low predialysis systolic blood pressure as a prognostic marker of mortality. Other studies showed varying results and reported postdialysis systolic blood pressure as well as ambulatory blood pressure as better predictors of mortality and emphasized their optimized control. One study in this review concluded that there is no direct relationship between mortality and blood pressure if the patients are on anti-hypertensive medications. The observed all-cause mortality varied from 12% to 36%, whereas the cardiovascular mortality varied from 16% to 60%. On the basis of studies included in the current review, a low predialysis systolic blood pressure (<120 mm Hg) is shown to be a widely accepted prognostic marker of mortality while ambulatory blood pressure best predicts CV mortality. Therefore, we recommend that apart from routine BP (pre, post and intradialysis) monitoring in centers, assessment of ambulatory BP must be mandatory for all patients to reduce CV mortality in hemodialysis patients.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.