Background Little information is available regarding which type of dialyzer membrane results in good prognosis in patients on chronic hemodialysis. Therefore, we conducted a cohort study from a nationwide registry of hemodialysis patients in Japan to establish the association between different dialyzer membranes and mortality rates. Methods We followed 142,412 patients on maintenance hemodialysis (female, 39.1%; mean age, 64.8 ± 12.3 years; median dialysis duration, 7 [4–12] years) for a year from 2008 to 2009. We included patients treated with seven types of high-flux dialyzer membranes at baseline, including cellulose triacetate (CTA), ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVAL), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polyester polymer alloy (PEPA), polyethersulfone (PES), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), and polysulfone (PS). Cox regression was used to estimate the association between baseline dialyzers and all-cause mortality as hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals for 1-year mortality adjusting for potential confounders, and propensity score matching analysis was performed. Results The distribution of patients treated with each membrane was as follows: PS (56.0%), CTA (17.3%), PES (12.0%), PEPA (7.5%), PMMA (4.9%), PAN (1.2%), and EVAL (1.1%). When data were adjusted using basic factors, with PS as a reference group, the mortality rate was significantly higher in all groups except for the PES group. When data were further adjusted for dialysis-related factors, HRs were significantly higher for the CTA, EVAL, and PEPA groups. When the data were further adjusted for nutrition-and inflammation-related factors, HRs were significantly lower for the PMMA and PES groups compared with the PS group. After propensity score matching, HRs were significantly lower for the PMMA group than for the PS group. Conclusion The results suggest that the use of different membrane types may affect mortality in hemodialysis patients. However, further long-term prospective studies are needed to clarify these findings, including whether the use of the PMMA membrane can improve prognosis.
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