22 January 2003
Renal replacement therapy in acute renal failure is currently focused on the use of modifications of dialysis (continuous arteriovenous hemofiltration and hemodiafiltration) to remove middle molecular weight toxins, consisting of small proteins, and cytokines involved in the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Conventional high-flux dialyzers are not efficient at removing these molecules, prompting the investigation of sorbents to augment or replace dialysis. Sorbents have been developed to modulate SIRS by targeting cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, IL-18 and TNF, among others. Extensive pre-clinical studies are underway to demonstrate the clinical utility and safety of either adding sorbent hemoadsorption devices to hemodialysis, or the use of such devices alone in SIRS, sepsis, acute renal failure, cardiopulmonary bypass and end-stage renal disease.