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      Dialyzer and Machine Technologies: Application of Recent Advances to Clinical Practice

      a , b

      Blood Purification

      S. Karger AG

      Solute clearance, Blood flow rate, Ultrafiltration rate, Dialysis machines

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          Although hemodialysis is a mature therapy, a growing population of patients with more complex medical problems and limitations on resources will require technological innovations to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the therapy. The past several years have seen design changes to dialyzers that have provided incremental improvements in small solute clearance and more substantial improvements in the clearance of large solutes. New functions have been added to dialysis machines that help ensure reliable delivery of the dialysis prescription and enable full advantage to be taken of improvements in dialyzer clearance of large molecules. In addition, feedback control systems have been developed that may help reduce the untoward side effects which many patients experience during hemodialysis. Whether or not a particular innovation enters routine clinical use will depend on demonstrating that it improves clinical outcomes, its cost, and, in some cases, on a more enlightened approach by regulatory authorities.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Effects of high-flux hemodialysis on clinical outcomes: results of the HEMO study.

          Among the 1846 patients in the HEMO Study, chronic high-flux dialysis did not significantly affect the primary outcome of the all-cause mortality (ACM) rate or the main secondary composite outcomes, including the rates of first cardiac hospitalization or ACM, first infectious hospitalization or ACM, first 15% decrease in serum albumin levels or ACM, or all non-vascular access-related hospitalizations. The high-flux intervention, however, seemed to be associated with reduced risks of specific cardiac-related events. The relative risks (RR) for the high-flux arm, compared with the low-flux arm, were 0.80 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.65 to 0.99] for cardiac death and 0.87 (95% CI, 0.76 to 1.00) for the composite of first cardiac hospitalization or cardiac death. Also, the effect of high-flux dialysis on ACM seemed to vary, depending on the duration of prior dialysis. This report presents secondary analyses to further explore the relationship between the flux intervention and the duration of dialysis with respect to various outcomes. The patients were stratified into a short-duration group and a long-duration group, on the basis of the mean duration of dialysis of 3.7 yr before randomization. In the subgroup that had been on dialysis for >3.7 yr, randomization to high-flux dialysis was associated with lower risks of ACM (RR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.86; P = 0.001), the composite of first albumin level decrease or ACM (RR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.91; P = 0.005), and cardiac deaths (RR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.92; P = 0.016), compared with low-flux dialysis. No significant differences were observed in outcomes related to infection for either duration subgroup, however, and the trends for beneficial effects of high-flux dialysis on ACM rates were considerably weakened when the years of dialysis during the follow-up phase were combined with the prestudy years of dialysis in the analysis. For the subgroup of patients with <3.7 yr of dialysis before the study, assignment to high-flux dialysis had no significant effect on any of the examined clinical outcomes. These data suggest that high-flux dialysis might have a beneficial effect on cardiac outcomes. Because these results are derived from multiple statistical comparisons, however, they must be interpreted with caution. The subgroup results that demonstrate that patients with different durations of dialysis are affected differently by high-flux dialysis are interesting and require further study for confirmation.
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            Blood volume controlled hemodialysis in hypotension-prone patients: a randomized, multicenter controlled trial.

            Recently we have devised and tested a biofeedback system for controlling blood volume (BV) changes during hemodialysis (HD) along an ideal trajectory (blood volume tracking, BVT), continuously modifying the weight loss rate and dialysate conductivity. This multicenter, prospective, randomized, crossover study aimed to clarify whether BVT (treatment B) can improve hypotension-prone patients' treatment tolerance, compared with conventional hemodialysis (treatment A). Thirty-six hypotension-prone patients enrolled from 10 hemodialysis (HD) centers were randomly assigned to either of the study sequences ABAB or BABA, each lasting four months. A 30% reduction in intradialytic hypotension (IDH) events was observed in treatment B as compared with A (23.5% vs. 33.5%, P = 0.004). The reduction was related to the number of IDH in treatment A (y = 0.54x + 5; r = 0.4; P < 0.001): the more IDH episodes in treatment A, the better the response in treatment B. The best responders to treatment B showed pre-dialysis systolic blood pressure values higher than the poor responders (P = 0.04). A 10% overall reduction in inter-dialysis symptoms was obtained also in treatment B compared to A (P < 0.001). Body weight gain, pre-dialysis blood pressure, intradialytic weight loss as well as Kt/V did not differ between the two treatments. An overall improvement in the treatment tolerance was observed with BVT, particularly intradialytic cardiovascular stability. Patients with the highest incidence of IDH during conventional HD and free from chronic pre-dialysis hypotension seem to respond better. Inter-dialysis symptoms also seem to improve with control of BV.
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              Protein-leaking membranes for hemodialysis: a new class of membranes in search of an application?

               Paul Ward (2005)
              A new class of membranes that leak protein has been developed for hemodialysis. These membranes provide greater clearances of low molecular weight proteins and small protein-bound solutes than do conventional high-flux dialysis membranes but at the cost of some albumin loss into the dialysate. Protein-leaking membranes have been used in a small number of clinical trials. The results of these trials suggest that protein-leaking membranes improve anemia correction, decrease plasma total homocysteine concentrations, and reduce plasma concentrations of glycosylated and oxidized proteins. However, it is not clear yet that routine use of protein-leaking membranes is warranted. Specific uremic toxins that are removed by protein-leaking membranes but not conventional high-flux membranes have not been identified. It is also unclear whether protein-leaking membranes offer benefits beyond those obtained with conventional high-flux membranes used in convective therapies, such as hemofiltration and hemodiafiltration. Finally, the amount of albumin loss that can be tolerated by hemodialysis patients in a long-term therapy has yet to be determined. Protein-leaking membranes offer a new approach to improving outcomes in hemodialysis, but whether their benefits will outweigh their disadvantages will require more basic and clinical research.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                December 2005
                23 December 2005
                : 24
                : 1
                : 6-10
                aDepartment of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky., USA; bDepartment of Nephrology, St. Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy
                89429 Blood Purif 2006;24:6–10
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                References: 30, Pages: 5
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