This study evaluated all routine HD patients attending one dialysis clinic in a regional hospital in Taiwan. Five patients who refused to undergo ABI-form device examinations were excluded. In addition, four patients with atrial fibrillation, two with bilateral amputations below the knee, and five who had been hospitalized or received antibiotic treatment in the preceding 4 weeks were also excluded. The remaining 207 patients (92 males and 115 females) were enrolled as the study group in December 2006. We acquired informed consents from the patients and conducted our study according to the declaration of Helsinki. All of the enrolled patients underwent HD three times per week. Each HD session lasted 3.5-4.5 hours, and the blood flow and dialysate flow rates were 250-300 mL/min and 500 mL/min, respectively. The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital. The methods were carried out in accordance with the approved guidelines.

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