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Kidney Int Suppl. 2000 Aug;76:S104-11.

Clinical relevance of cytokine production in hemodialysis.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Emergency and Transplantation, University of Bari, Policlinico, Bari, Italy.


Blood-dialyzer interaction in hemodialysis has the potential to activate mononuclear cells leading to the production of inflammatory cytokines. The extent of activation is dependent on the dialyzer material used and is considered an index of biocompatibility. Cytokines, such as interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and IL-6, may induce an inflammatory state and are believed to play a significant role in dialysis-related morbidity. The interleukin hypothesis suggests that the release of proinflammatory cytokines acts as an underlying pathophysiologic event in hemodialysis-related acute manifestations, such as fever and hypotension. Nevertheless, a cytokine overproduction may alter sleep pattern in chronic hemodialyzed patients, thus explaining the presence of sleep disorders in these patients. A potential role of cytokines in chronic-related morbidity has also been suggested. High levels of some inflammatory cytokines are often associated with anemia caused by hyporesponsiveness to erythropoietin. Cytokine production may also play a relevant role in bone remodeling by regulating osteoblast/osteoclast cell functions and parathyroid hormone (PTH). Finally, cytokine release may have a long-term deleterious effect on mortality of uremic patients by altering immune response and increasing susceptibility to infections. Bioincompatibility of dialytic membranes may also contribute to malnutrition in dialysis patients by increasing the monocyte release of catabolic cytokines such as TNF-alpha and IL-6. Bioincompatible dialytic treatment may induce an inappropriate monocyte activation and cytokine production, which, in turn, may mediate some of the immune and metabolic dysfunction associated with hemodialysis. The use of biocompatible dialytic membranes appears to reduce the monocyte activation and to improve the survival of hemodialysis patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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