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Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2001 Jul;2(3):238-242.

Survival and renal function in pediatric patients following extracorporeal life support with hemofiltration.

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Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Critical Care, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (Dr. Meyer) and the Department of Pediatrics, Divisions of Pediatric Critical Care and Nephrology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (Drs. Brophy, Bunchman, Annich, Maxvold, and Custer and Ms. Mottes).



To determine variables associated with survival in pediatric patients treated with hemofiltration while receiving extracorporeal life support and to determine the probability for recovery of renal function among survivors.


Retrospective database analysis.


University of Michigan pediatric nephrology database.


All pediatric patients treated with continuous hemofiltration while on extracorporeal life support at the University of Michigan between January 1990 and May 1999. A pediatric patient was defined as any child between birth and 18 yrs of age, including children treated in both the pediatric intensive care unit and neonatal intensive care unit. Indications for extracorporeal life support included both cardiac and pulmonary failure.


Data analysis of patients who were treated with hemofiltration while on extracorporeal life support. Hemofiltration includes both ultrafiltration and hemofiltration with countercurrent dialysis.


Thirty-five patients with a mean age of 39 +/- 65 months (median, 3 months) underwent hemofiltration while on extracorporeal life support. Forty-three percent survived to hospital discharge (95% CI, 26%-60%). All deaths occurred in the intensive care unit. Recovery of renal function occurred in 93% of survivors (95% CI, 79%-108%). Mean duration of hemofiltration in survivors, including time during and after extracorporeal life support, was 9 +/- 6 days. All nonsurvivors were on renal replacement therapy at the time of death. In this analysis, decreased survival was significantly associated with the use of vasopressor infusions (p =.01) and the presence of complications (p =.006). Vasopressor infusions were required in 89% of patients, and 37% of patients experienced complications.


In patients receiving hemofiltration while on extracorporeal life support, survival is comparable to that reported in other extracorporeal life support or hemofiltration populations. Decreased survival in these patients may be associated with the use of vasopressor infusions and the occurrence of complications. Recovery of renal function occurs in most survivors.


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