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Kidney Int. 1995 Nov;48(5):1563-70.

Hemofiltration in human sepsis: evidence for elimination of immunomodulatory substances.

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Department of Surgery, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.


Continuous hemofiltration is widely used for renal replacement therapy in patients with acute renal failure. It has been suggested that hemofiltration may also eliminate toxic mediators thought to be important in the pathophysiology of sepsis. The present study examined whether hemofiltration can activate or eliminate inflammatory mediators in patients with sepsis, and whether ultrafiltrate can alter specific functions of peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (PBMC) in vitro. Veno-venous hemofiltration was performed in 16 patients and in 5 healthy volunteers. Pre-filter (afferent), post-filter (efferent) and ultrafiltrate concentrations of cytokines (IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, TNF alpha) and of complement components (C3, C3adesArg, C5adesArg, terminal complement complex) were measured after the beginning of hemofiltration (t0), and 60 minutes later (t60). PBMC, and monocyte and lymphocyte subfractions were incubated with ultrafiltrate, and cytokines were determined in the supernatants. Hemofiltration did not induce significant mediator activation. There was no evidence for significant cytokine elimination. However, pre-filter C3adesArg concentration showed a significant decline during hemofiltration (patients: t0 = 676.9 +/- 99.7 ng/ml, t60 = 545.4 +/- 83.2, P < 0.001; volunteers: t0 = 54.8 +/- 13.3 ng/ml, t60 = 33.9 +/- 10.7, P < 0.001). Ultrafiltrate from septic patients significantly stimulated PBMC and monocyte TNF alpha release, but suppressed lymphocyte IL-2 and IL-6 production. Ultrafiltrate from volunteers was without effect. Hemofiltration effectively eliminates certain mediators such as C3adesArg. Ultrafiltrate contains compounds with significant immunomodulatory qualities. Therefore, hemofiltration may represent a new modality for removal of immunomodulatory mediators.

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