LONDON, ON – In a published study, a hospital research team from Lawson Health Research Institute has found that expanded dialysis, a new method that removes a broader range of toxins from the body, can improve quality of life in chronic kidney disease patients who struggle with the side effects of traditional dialysis.

In a clinical trial led by Dr.Chris McIntyre, Nephrologist at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and Scientist at Lawson, dialysis patients at LHSC were administered expanded dialysis through a new dialyzer made by Baxter International Inc

The dialyzer, called THERANOVA, has precisely-made pores that allow larger sized toxic chemicals to be filtered from the blood while retaining essential molecules such as albumin. “The chemicals that can now be filtered out can cause inflammation, malnutrition and the buildup of waste,” explains Dr. McIntyre. “With traditional dialysis treatments, we haven’t been as successful at removing those chemicals and some patients experienced significant side effects.”

These larger molecules that the THERANOVA dialyzer is able to filter out are believed to be associated with inflammation, cardiovascular disease and chronic symptoms like fatigue. Study participant Robert Wahby has chronic kidney disease and has been on dialysis for about five years. He is no stranger to these symptoms. “I was hoping that trying this new dialyzer would help get rid of some of my symptoms. My appetite was down, I was a little weak and I was hoping I would sleep better.”

As part of the clinical trial, Wahby started to immediately notice a positive difference when administered dialysis through the THERANOVA dialyzer. “I felt better, I was eating more and I had a better night’s sleep.”

His wife, Marlene Wahby, also noticed promising changes. “His sleeping patterns have gotten better and he feels better when he comes home. When he was on the traditional dialysis, he got very jumpy and didn’t feel well at all after treatments.”

This study was conducted for three months with 28 patients. Along with receiving the expanded dialysis treatment, the research participants were monitored through the London Evaluation of Illness (LEVIL) app, developed by Dr. McIntyre with the help of patient input.

“One of our big research challenges is measuring the quality of life on dialysis,” says Dr. McIntyre. “Conventional measures take time and may not be as accurate, so by asking questions through the app every day we were able to get a true idea of how patients were feeling.”

By using the LEVIL app, the team was able to determine that patients that had a poorer quality of life at the start of the study significantly improved in the areas of general wellbeing, energy and sleep after approximately four to eight weeks of expanded dialysis.

Now that the first phase of this study has been completed and published in Kidney Medicine, the next phase will include 60 dialysis patients for up to six months of treatments using the THERANOVA dialyzer. This second phase will be a multicentered clinical study led by Lawson, University of Toronto and Humber River Hospital.


About Lawson Health Research Institute:

Lawson Health Research Institute is one of Canada’s top hospital-based research institutes, tackling the most pressing challenges in health care. As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, our innovation happens where care is delivered. Lawson research teams are at the leading-edge of science with the goal of improving health and the delivery of care for patients. Working in partnership with Western University, our researchers are encouraged to pursue their curiosity, collaborate often and share their discoveries widely. Research conducted through Lawson makes a difference in the lives of patients, families and communities around the world. 

About Baxter Canada:

Every day, millions of patients and caregivers rely on Baxter’s leading portfolio of critical care, nutrition, renal, hospital and surgical products. In Canada, we’ve been operating at the critical intersection where innovations that save and sustain lives meet the healthcare providers that make it happen for 84 years. With products, technologies and therapies available in more than 100 countries, Baxter’s employees worldwide are now building upon the company’s rich heritage of medical breakthroughs to advance the next generation of transformative healthcare innovations. Baxter Canada and its over 1,200 employees are located primarily in Ontario at the Head Office, CIVA Admixing and Technical Services Centres in Mississauga, and in Alliston – where Baxter operates Canada’s only large-scale manufacturing plant producing life-sustaining intravenous and dialysis solutions. To learn more, visit and follow Baxter on LinkedIn.

For more information, please contact:     

Celine Zadorsky
Communications & External Relations
Lawson Health Research Institute
T: 519-685-8500 ext. 75664
C: 519-619-3872

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