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Haemodialysis and Vascular Access Clinical Study Group

Haemodialysis (HD) is the most commonly employed method for treating advanced kidney failure with over 23,000 patients treated in UK and over 2 million worldwide.

To accomplish haemodialysis, it is necessary to haveoptimal access to blood vessels (vascular access). The technique and practice of HD and blood access has a major impact on patient outcomes and experience of the therapy. Despite it's success as renal replacement therapy, there are major research questions in HD and vascular access to improve clinical outcomes, patient experience and sustainability.

Who we are

Our group is led by Dr Sandip Mitra who is Consultant Nephrologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Manchester. His Deputy is Dr Enric Vilar, Consultant Nephrologist at East and North Herts NHS Trust.

The CSG was set up in 2008 under the leadership of Professor Ken Farrington with representation from Barts/London, West London, Royal Free, QE Birmingham, Stoke, Derby, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Crosshouse, Lister and Southampton. Since then, membership has expanded and remains open to all UK renal centres.

We have strong links with the UK Renal Registry and the Peritoneal Dialysis CSG and often meet jointly to help cross fertilisation of ideas. We also contribute to the design, development and facilitation of haemodialysis (HD)-related studies in conjunction with other CSGs.

Dr Sandip Mitra
Dr Sandip Mitra

Our aims:

The CSG brings together a national group of experienced UK researchers to address knowledge gaps and unmet need in haemodialysis and vascular access technique and practice by coordinating and executing feasibility and multi-centre randomised trials.

Our challenges:

  • Recruitment for large trials with overlapping or competing studies.
  • There are fewer commercially sponsored studies in the portfolio.
  • Excess treatment costs.

Ongoing projects:

Our focus is on creating the evidence base for best practice, in improving outcomes and patient experience in haemodialysis modalities. Several clinical trials and longitudinal studies are in design. Early stage study concepts in development include:

  • Patient research priorities in haemodialysis & vascular access.
  • Optimal vascular access for older patients.
  • Methods for enhancing successful maturation of arteriovenous fistula (AVF).
  • Incremental dialysis modality.
  • Volume management during HD.
  • Assistance in home haemodialysis.
  • Patient activation in dialysis.
  • Care models in dialysis transport.
  • New HD devices and enabling technology.
  • Cardiovascular drug trials in HD (in collaboration with Cardio-renal CSG).

Our future plans:

There are ongoing discussions facilitated by Kidney Research UK, with commercial partners to help support clinically relevant studies in dialysis and vascular access.


Find out more at the forthcoming RSM 'Frontiers in Haemodialysis' meeting.

Thursday 12 December 2019 at the Royal Society of Medicine

More details and booking information here.

Our impact and achievements:

Patient participation

  • Successful NIHR funding of HD studies has provided the opportunity for greater patient participation in research - nearly 8000 patients are currently involved in HD research studies.
  • There is strong patient involvement in the design and delivery of funded studies.

NIHR grant funding success

CSG-supported HD studies have been highly successful in securing NIHR grant funding.

  • Five NIHR HTA multicentre trials have been successfully funded since 2017.
  • Seven large multicentre studies are currently recruiting.
  • Most recent successful NIHR HTA funded study in May 2019.
  • Large trials have also been successful in securing additional NIHR funding for mechanistic or other additional sub-studies (eg EME grants).

There are 21 active and recruiting HD studies with an average 71% recruitment to target to date.

Got a question? Get in touch.

For more information and to find out about getting involved as a patient or researcher, contact:

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