Hemodialysis (Kidney)

  1. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(2):215-26.

Effects of far infrared acupoint stimulation on autonomic activity and quality of life in hemodialysis patients.

Su LH, Wu KD, Lee LS, Wang H, Liu CF.

Nursing Department, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yun-Lin Branch, Yun-Lin County, Taiwan.

Comment in:

Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(5):1011-2.


Patients receiving regular hemodialysis sessions have been known to suffer from fatigue and depression. This experiment was designed to determine the effects of far infrared ray (FIR) stimulation on acupoints of patients suffering from renal failure who are receiving regular hemodialysis. Patients receiving long-term and regular hemodialysis who volunteered for this procedure were randomly selected to undergo either FIR or heat pad (HP) therapy to determine the impact of FIR treatment on these patients. Both the activities of the autonomic nervous system and changes in quality of life were measured before and after treatment to determine the effectiveness of the FIR treatment. Results from this study show that FIR therapy decreases both stress and fatigue levels of these patients. It also stimulates autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in patients who are diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and are receiving regular hemodialysis (HD). Therefore, benefits of FIR stimulation on these patients are clearly demonstrated in this preliminary study.

  1. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007 Mar;18(3):985-92. Epub 2007 Jan 31.

Far-infrared therapy: a novel treatment to improve access blood flow and unassisted patency of arteriovenous fistula in hemodialysis patients.

Lin CC, Chang CF, Lai MY, Chen TW, Lee PC, Yang WC.

Division of Nephrology, Institute of Clinical Medicine and School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Comment in:

Nat Clin Pract Nephrol. 2007 Aug;3(8):422-3.


Vascular access malfunction, usually presenting with an inadequate access flow (Qa), is the leading cause of morbidity and hospitalization in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Many methods of thermal therapy have been tried for improving Qa but with limited effects. This randomized trial was designed to evaluate the effect of far-infrared (FIR) therapy on access flow and patency of the native arteriovenous fistula (AVF). A total of 145 HD patients were enrolled with 73 in the control group and 72 in the FIR group. A WS TY101 FIR emitter was used for 40 min, and hemodynamic parameters were measured by the Transonic HD(02) monitor during HD. The Qa(1)/Qa(2) and Qa(3)/Qa(4) were defined as the Qa measured at the beginning/at 40 min later in the HD session before the initiation and at the end of the study, respectively. The incremental change of Qa in the single HD session with FIR therapy was significantly higher than that without FIR therapy (13.2 +/- 114.7 versus -33.4 +/- 132.3 ml/min; P = 0.021). In comparison with control subjects, patients who received FIR therapy for 1 yr had (1) a lower incidence (12.5 versus 30.1%; P < 0.01) and relative incidence (one episode per 67.7 versus one episode per 26.7 patient-months; P = 0.03) of AVF malfunction; (2) higher values of the following parameters, including Delta(Qa(4) – Qa(3)) (36.2 +/- 82.4 versus -12.7 +/- 153.6 ml/min; P = 0.027), Delta(Qa(3) – Qa(1)) (36.3 +/- 166.2 versus -51.7 +/- 283.1 ml/min; P = 0.035), Delta(Qa(4) – Qa(2)) (99.2 +/- 144.4 versus -47.5 +/- 244.5 ml/min; P < 0.001), and Delta(Qa(4) – Qa(2)) – Delta(Qa(3) – Qa(1)) (62.9 +/- 111.6 versus 4.1 +/- 184.5 ml/min; P = 0.032); and (3) a better unassisted patency of AVF (85.9 versus 67.6%; P < 0.01). In conclusion, FIR therapy, a noninvasive and convenient therapeutic modality, can improve Qa and survival of the AVF in HD patients through both its thermal and its nonthermal effects.

  1. J Chin Med Assoc. 2009 Mar;72(3):109-16.

Prognostic factors influencing the patency of hemodialysis vascular access: literature review and novel therapeutic modality by far infrared therapy.

Lin CC, Yang WC.

National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taiwan, Republic of China.


In Taiwan, more than 85% of patients with end-stage renal disease undergo maintenance hemodialysis (HD). The native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) accounts for a prevalence of more than 80% of the vascular access in our patients. Some mechanical factors may affect the patency of hemodialysis vascular access, such as surgical skill, puncture technique and shear stress on the vascular endothelium. Several medical factors have also been identified to be associated with vascular access prognosis in HD patients, including stasis, hypercoagulability, endothelial cell injury, medications, red cell mass and genotype polymorphisms of transforming growth factor-beta1 and methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase. According to our previous study, AVF failure was associated with a longer dinucleotide (GT)n repeat (n > or = 30) in the promoter of the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene. Our recent study also demonstrated that far-infrared therapy, a noninvasive and convenient therapeutic modality, can improve access flow, inflammatory status and survival of the AVF in HD patients through both its thermal and non-thermal (endothelial-improving, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antioxidative) effects by upregulating NF-E2-related factor-2-dependent HO-1 expression, leading to the inhibition of expression of E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1.

  1. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 Apr;28(4):739-45.
    Epub 2008 Jan 17.

Far infrared therapy inhibits vascular endothelial inflammation via the induction of heme oxygenase-1.

Lin CC, Liu XM, Peyton K, Wang H, Yang WC, Lin SJ, Durante W.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.


OBJECTIVE: Survival of arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) in hemodialysis patients is associated with both far infrared (FIR) therapy and length polymorphisms of the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) promoter. In this study, we evaluated whether there is an interaction between FIR radiation and HO-1 in regulating vascular inflammation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Treatment of cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (ECs) with FIR radiation stimulated HO-1 protein, mRNA, and promoter activity. HO-1 induction was dependent on the activation of the antioxidant responsive element/NF-E2-related factor-2 complex, and was likely a consequence of heat stress. FIR radiation also inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-mediated expression of E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interleukin-8, and the cytokine-mediated adhesion of monocytes to ECs. The antiinflammatory action of FIR was mimicked by bilirubin, and was reversed by the HO inhibitor, tin protoporphyrin-IX, or by the selective knockdown of HO-1. Finally, the antiinflammatory effect of FIR was also observed in patients undergoing hemodialysis. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that FIR therapy exerts a potent antiinflammatory effect via the induction of HO-1. The ability of FIR therapy to inhibit inflammation may play a critical role in preserving blood flow and patency of AVFs in hemodialysis patients.