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ASAIO J. 2010 Sep-Oct;56(5):488-90. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e3181f11e9d.

A case of a maintenance hemodialysis patient in whom a change of sensitivity to acetate was suspected.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.


Sodium acetate, which is a buffering agent in dialysates, has a vasodilatation effect as well as effects for depression of myocardial contractility even in low dosages. Also, it is presumed to be one of the causes of hypotension during hemodialysis (HD). In recent years, acetate-free dialysates [A(-)D] have been developed. In this case, although it was possible to maintain a relatively stable hemodynamic condition during HD using 10 mEq/L of acetate-containing dialysate [A(+)D], after HD using A(-)D for 4 months and then switched back to A(+)D, the patient complained of several symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and headache, and severe hypotension episodes increased during HD. Furthermore, stabilization of the hemodynamic condition was obtained after switching back to A(-)D. Moreover, the nutritional state and anemia were improved. Conventionally, it has been considered that cases referred to as acetate intolerance have various symptoms with increasing blood acetate levels; however, this case suggests the possibility that tolerance to acetate was acquired by using the A(+)D over time, and the tolerance dissipated after using the A(-)D for 4 months. The number of cases involving broadly defined acetate intolerance as in this case was higher than expected. These findings suggest that using A(-)D for such cases, it may therefore be possible to maintain stable hemodynamic conditions during HD and improve the nutritional state and anemia.

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