Aspiration pneumonia (AP) is prevalent in older adults and the hemodialysis (HD) population has been getting older. Therefore, it is speculated that increasing number of HD patients would suffer from AP. However, the clinical aspects of AP in HD patients have not been elucidated. Consecutive HD patients with nosocomial AP hospitalized in our university hospital from April 2007 to December 2008 were recruited. Their clinical characteristics, risk factors for contraction, and the fatality of AP and treatment options were described. Nineteen out of 356 hospitalized HD patients had AP and 8 out of 19 AP patients died, indicating the incidence rate and fatality rate were 5.34% and 42.1%, respectively. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the risk factors for contracting AP included age, body mass index, serum creatinine levels (Cre) and the monthly decline rate of Cre. It also revealed that serum albumin (Alb) and basal total cholesterol levels, the decline rate of Alb and Cre levels, and the duration of AP were independent risk factors for fatality. Survivors were most often treated with tube feeding. Both contraction rate and fatality of nosocomial AP were high among HD patients. Both the malnutrition as well as the decline rate for nutrition and muscle volume indicated by falls in Alb and Cre, respectively, had clinical relevance in AP. Maintaining nutritional state by tube feeding and muscle volume seems to be the mainstay for the prevention and the treatment of AP in HD patients.
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