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Clin Pharmacokinet. 1993 May;24(5):362-79.

Drug dosage in patients during continuous renal replacement therapy. Pharmacokinetic and therapeutic considerations.

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Department of Nephrology, University of Freiburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


The advantages of continuous haemofiltration and haemodialysis over intermittent haemodialysis for the treatment of acute renal failure are well recognised. In intensive care patients, 4 different continuous procedures, arteriovenous and venovenous haemofiltration (CAVH and CVVH) or haemodialysis (CAVHD and CVVHD), are employed. These effective detoxification treatments require knowledge of their influence on drug disposition. Data on kinetics of drugs during continuous treatment are scarce and limited almost exclusively to the oldest and least effective procedure (CAVH). Selected dialysis membranes may adsorb drugs, as in the case of aminoglycosides. In addition, elimination of substances with large molecular weights may vary depending on the pore size of the membrane, as in the case of vancomycin. Thus, even if drug dosages can be based on pharmacokinetic studies, selection of a dialysis membrane not studied may cause unpredictable drug concentrations. With these limitations in mind and considering the available literature on pharmacokinetics in patients with renal failure, general guidelines for drug dosage during continuous renal replacement therapy can be given. In haemofiltration, drug protein binding is the major factor determining sieving, i.e. the appearance of the drug in the ultrafiltrate. In haemodialysis, diffusion is added to ultrafiltration, and therefore the saturation of the combined dialysate and ultrafiltrate will decrease further with increasing dialysate flow rate. In continuous haemofiltration or haemodialysis the extracorporeal clearance can be calculated by multiplying the saturation value (estimated or, better, measured) with the ultrafiltrate and dialysate flow rate. Dividing the extracorporeal clearance by the total clearance (including the nonrenal clearance) gives the fraction of the dose removed due to extracorporeal elimination. Whether dosage recommendations available for anuric patients have to be modified or not can be decided on the basis of this value. In case of high nonrenal clearance, the degree of saturation is without clinical significance. Based on these considerations guidelines have been constructed for the effect of extracorporeal elimination on more than 120 different drugs commonly used in intensive care patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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