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      Extracorporeal Blood Purification and Organ Support in the Critically Ill Patient during COVID-19 Pandemic: Expert Review and Recommendation

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          Critically ill COVID-19 patients are generally admitted to the ICU for respiratory insufficiency which can evolve into a multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome requiring extracorporeal organ support. Ongoing advances in technology and science and progress in information technology support the development of integrated multi-organ support platforms for personalized treatment according to the changing needs of the patient. Based on pathophysiological derangements observed in COVID-19 patients, a rationale emerges for sequential extracorporeal therapies designed to remove inflammatory mediators and support different organ systems. In the absence of vaccines or direct therapy for COVID-19, extracorporeal therapies could represent an option to prevent organ failure and improve survival. The enormous demand in care for COVID-19 patients requires an immediate response from the scientific community. Thus, a detailed review of the available technology is provided by experts followed by a series of recommendation based on current experience and opinions, while waiting for generation of robust evidence from trials.

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          Most cited references 86

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          Effects of different doses in continuous veno-venous haemofiltration on outcomes of acute renal failure: a prospective randomised trial.

          Continuous veno-venous haemofiltration is increasingly used to treat acute renal failure in critically ill patients, but a clear definition of an adequate treatment dose has not been established. We undertook a prospective randomised study of the impact different ultrafiltration doses in continuous renal replacement therapy on survival. We enrolled 425 patients, with a mean age of 61 years, in intensive care who had acute renal failure. Patients were randomly assigned ultrafiltration at 20 mL h(-1) kg(-1) (group 1, n=146), 35 mL h(-1) kg(-1) (group 2, n=139), or 45 mL h(-1) kg(-1) (group 3, n=140). The primary endpoint was survival at 15 days after stopping haemofiltration. We also assessed recovery of renal function and frequency of complications during treatment. Analysis was by intention to treat. Survival in group 1 was significantly lower than in groups 2 (p=0.0007) and 3 (p=0.0013). Survival in groups 2 and 3 did not differ significantly (p=0.87). Adjustment for possible confounding factors did not change the pattern of differences among the groups. Survivors in all groups had lower concentrations of blood urea nitrogen before continuous haemofiltration was started than non-survivors. 95%, 92%, and 90% of survivors in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, had full recovery of renal function. The frequency of complications was similarly low in all groups. Mortality among these critically ill patients was high, but increase in the rate of ultrafiltration improved survival significantly. We recommend that ultrafiltration should be prescribed according to patient's bodyweight and should reach at least 35 mL h(-1) kg(-1).
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            Injurious mechanical ventilation and end-organ epithelial cell apoptosis and organ dysfunction in an experimental model of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

            Recent clinical trials have demonstrated a decrease in multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) treated with a protective ventilatory strategy. To examine the hypothesis that an injurious ventilatory strategy may lead to end-organ epithelial cell apoptosis and organ dysfunction. In vivo animals: 24 rabbits with acid-aspiration lung injury were ventilated with injurious or noninjurious ventilatory strategies. In vitro: rabbit epithelial cells were exposed to plasma from in vivo rabbit studies. In vivo human: plasma samples from patients included in a previous randomized controlled trial examining a lung protective strategy were analyzed (lung protection group, n = 9 and controls, n = 11). In vivo animals: biochemical markers of liver and renal dysfunction; apoptosis in end organs. In vitro: induction of apoptosis in LLC-RK1 renal tubular epithelial cells. In vivo human: correlation of plasma creatinine and soluble Fas ligand. The injurious ventilatory strategy led to increased rates of epithelial cell apoptosis in the kidney (mean [SE]: injurious, 10.9% [0.88%]; noninjurious, 1.86% [0.17%]; P<.001) and small intestine villi (injurious, 6.7% [0.66%]; noninjurious, 0.97% [0.14%]; P<.001), and led to the elevation of biochemical markers indicating renal dysfunction in vivo. Induction of apoptosis was increased in LLC-RK1 cells incubated with plasma from rabbits ventilated with injurious ventilatory strategy at 4 hours (P =.03) and 8 hours (P =.002). The Fas:Ig, a fusion protein that blocks soluble Fas ligand, attenuated induction of apoptosis in vitro. There was a significant correlation between changes in soluble Fas ligand and changes in creatinine in patients with ARDS (R = 0.64, P =.002). Mechanical ventilation can lead to epithelial cell apoptosis in the kidney and small intestine, accompanied by biochemical evidence of organ dysfunction. This may partially explain the high rate of MODS observed in patients with ARDS and the decrease in morbidity and mortality in patients treated with a lung protective strategy.
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              Extracorporeal albumin dialysis with the molecular adsorbent recirculating system in acute-on-chronic liver failure: the RELIEF trial.

              Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a frequent cause of death in cirrhosis. Albumin dialysis with the molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS) decreases retained substances and improves hemodynamics and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). However, its survival impact is unknown. In all, 189 patients with ACLF were randomized either to MARS (n=95) or to standard therapy (SMT) (n=94). Ten patients (five per group) were excluded due to protocol violations. In addition, 23 patients (MARS: 19; SMT: 4) were excluded from per-protocol (PP) analysis (PP population n=156). Up to 10 6-8-hour MARS sessions were scheduled. The main endpoint was 28-day ITT and PP survival. There were no significant differences at inclusion, although the proportion of patients with Model for Endstage Liver Disease (MELD) score over 20 points and with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) as a precipitating event was almost significantly greater in the MARS group. The 28-day survival was similar in the two groups in the ITT and PP populations (60.7% versus 58.9%; 60% versus 59.2% respectively). After adjusting for confounders, a significant beneficial effect of MARS on survival was not observed (odds ratio [OR]: 0.87, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.44-1.72). MELD score and HE at admission and the increase in serum bilirubin at day 4 were independent predictors of death. At day 4, a greater decrease in serum creatinine (P=0.02) and bilirubin (P=0.001) and a more frequent improvement in HE (from grade II-IV to grade 0-I; 62.5% versus 38.2%; P=0.07) was observed in the MARS group. Severe adverse events were similar.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, )
                26 May 2020
                : 1-11
                aDepartment of Nephrology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
                bInternational Renal Research Institute (IRRIV), San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy
                cDepartment of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
                dCentre for Integrated Critical Care, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
                eDepartment of Intensive Care, Austin Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
                fDavidson School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
                gDepartment of Internal Medicine II, Division of Nephrology, Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Giessen, Germany
                hDepartment of Critical Care Medicine, Center for Critical Care Nephrology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
                iCenter for Critical Care Nephrology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
                jDepartment of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy
                kAnesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Edouard Herriot Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
                lEA 7426 “Pathophysiology of Injury-induced Immunosuppression”, Pi3, Hospices Civils de Lyon − BioMérieux − Claude Bernard University Lyon, Lyon, France
                mDepartment of Nephrology, Clinica de Doenças Renais de Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil
                nDepartment of Critical Care, King's College London, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, London, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                *Dr. Marlies Ostermann, King's College London, Department of Critical Care, School of Medical Education, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH (UK), Marlies.Ostermann@
                Copyright © 2020 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 89, Pages: 11


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