We retrospectively analyzed the blood pressure (BP) and cardiothoracic index (CTI) of 67 hemodialysis patients with hypertension who could be followed up for at least 8 months. A new treatment policy was adopted, aimed at strict volume control. Dietary salt restriction was strongly emphasized. Ultrafiltration (UF) was applied during regular dialysis sessions and sometimes in additional sessions, as long as BP and CTi remained at greater than normal values. All antihypertensive drugs were discontinued at the beginning of treatment. Average BP decreased from 173 +/- 17/102 +/- 9 to 139 +/- 18/86 +/- 11 mm Hg after 6 months and to 118 +/- 12/73 +/- 6 mm Hg after 36 months. Corresponding values for CTi were 52% +/- 4%, 47% +/- 3%, rind 42% +/- 4%, respectively. Conventional relatively short dialysis (three times weekly for at least 4 hours) can achieve normal BPs with prolonged effort in most patients, whereas improvement in heart condition facilitates this. (C) 1999 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.