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Semin Dial. 2009 Mar-Apr;22(2):123-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2008.00544.x.

Machines for continuous renal replacement therapy.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, St. Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy.


A significant number of advancements have taken place since the beginning of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). In particular, high volume hemofiltration and high permeability hemofiltration have been successful extensions of the technique. The additional and combined use of sorbent has also been tested successfully. Specific machines have now been designed to permit safe and reliable performance of the therapy. These new devices are equipped with a friendly user interface that allows for easy performance and monitoring. The apparent complexity of the circuit is made simple by a self-loading circuit or a cartridge which includes the filter and the blood and dialysate lines. Priming is performed automatically by the machine and pre- or postdilution (reinfusion of substitution fluid before or after the filter) can easily be performed by changing the position of the reinfusion line. These new machines permit all CRRT methodologies to be performed by programming the flows and the total amounts of fluid to be exchanged or circulated as a countercurrent dialysate at the beginning of the session. Progress has been made not only in technology in this area but also on our understanding of the pathophysiology of acute renal failure. New biomaterials and new devices are now available with new frontiers are on the horizon. We might, however, speculate that although improvements have been made, a lot remains to be done. There is no doubt that technology has progressed enormously in critical care nephrology and that more progress will come in the near future. The goal, and likely outcome, is an improvement in the morbidity and mortality of the most severely ill patients.

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