Nephrologist caseload influences hemodialysis (HD) patient outcomes, researchers concluded.

In a study of 41 nephrologists with caseloads ranging from 50-200 HD patients in an urban California region, Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, MPH, PhD, of the University of California Irvine, and colleagues found that nephrologists with the lowest patient mortality rates had significantly lower patient caseloads, according to a report published online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

In adjusted analyses, each 50-patient increase in caseload was associated with a 2% increase in patient mortality risk.

In addition, patients treated by nephrologists with the lowest patient mortality rates received higher dialysis doses, had longer sessions, and received more kidney transplants.