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Nephron. 2001 Sep;89(1):15-9.

Elevation of blood (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan concentrations in hemodialysis patients.

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First Department of Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 3600 Handa-cho, Hamamatsu 431-3192, Japan.


Determination of the blood (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan (beta-DG) concentration is a sensitive marker to detect the presence of deep mycosis and fungal infections. Although cellulose material is known to contain beta-DG, the influence of a cellulose dialyzer membrane on the blood beta-DG level remains to be elucidated. In this study, we determined the plasma beta-DG levels in dialysis outpatients using either a modified regenerated cellulose (MRC) or a synthetic polysulfone (PS) membrane for more than 3 months. Plasma beta-DG levels were extremely high in patients using the MRC (2,778 +/- 549 pg/ml, n = 9) but not the PS membrane (18.8 +/- 3.7 pg/ml, n = 8) compared to normal ranges (<20 pg/ml). A single dialysis session using the MRC membrane further increased blood beta-DG values to 5,561 +/- 722 pg/ml (p < 0.01). After changing the membranes from MRC to PS, the blood beta-DG levels gradually decreased and reached 29.6 +/- 6.0 pg/ml at 6 months. In contrast, the PS membrane did not affect plasma beta-DG levels after a single dialysis session (16.0 +/- 3.9 pg/ml) or 4 months later (24.0 +/- 4.9 pg/ml). These findings suggested that a cellulose membrane could influence the measurement of blood beta-DG concentrations in the long-term. Careful assessment is required to diagnose the presence of fungal infection in HD patients using a cellulose membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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