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Portable system offers dialysis patients 'liberating' changes

INDIANAPOLIS A suitcase-sized machine tested at the Indiana University School of Medicine is making life easier for some patients undergoing rigorous dialysis for kidney failure.

A year ago, researchers at IU and across the country began testing the NxStage System One, a portable unit that allows patients to conduct their own dialysis at home or on the road. And the preliminary results are promising, says Michael A. Kraus, M.D., the study's principal investigator and medical director of IU's Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis and Acute Dialysis Units.

Dr. Kraus says patients treated with the System One therapy have more stable blood pressure and all of them have reduced or completely stopped their blood-pressure medications. Anemia rates seem to have declined and patients' appetites have increased. There has been a marked improvement in quality of life for the dialysis patients on daily treatments at Indiana University Hospital, a member of Clarian Health Partners.

"We've had mothers who didn't have the energy take care of their kids, people who had resigned themselves to never work or have a career, basically a lesser quality of life. Now their situations have reversed," Dr. Kraus says. "It has given patients back control over their lives."

Currently, about 70 patients with kidney failure nationwide are treated with NxStage System One, a third of which of these treated at IU and Clarian Health.

Kidney failure, or end stage renal disease, affects some 400,000 Americans, which cause a person to experience a total and irreversible loss of kidney function, leading to the eventual need for dialysis or transplantation. It can be caused by a number of conditions such as nephritis, traumatic injury, diabetes, hypertension or genetic-related disorders.

For end-stage patients who do not have a match for kidney transplant or are not candidates for deceased donor transplantation, the only treatment is dialysis of whi
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Contact: Joe Stuteville
jstutevi@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
7-Mar-2005


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