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Am J Kidney Dis. 1997 Sep;30(3):366-73.

Biocompatible membranes preserve residual renal function in patients undergoing regular hemodialysis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.


Initiation of hemodialysis causes a further decrease of residual renal function (RRF). To assess the impact of the biocompatibility of the dialysis membrane, we performed a prospective randomized investigation in 20 normotensive patients with tubulointerstitial nephritis. The patients were randomly allocated to treatment with either a high-flux polysulfone or cellulose membrane over a period of 12 months. RRF, defined by creatinine clearance and daily urine volume, was found to decrease in both groups of patients after the initiation of hemodialysis. Of the two membranes used, however, the cellulose membrane caused an accelerated decrease of RRF (P < 0.05). The better maintenance of RRF in patients treated with polysulfone membranes was associated with higher Kt/V values and increased hematocrit values (P < 0.05). The pathophysiologic mechanism underlying the more rapid decline of RRF could not be explained by intradialytic hypotension, but may be related to the nephrotoxic effects of inflammatory mediators due to bioincompatibility. Therefore, the use of polysulfone membranes might be preferable in patients with relevant RRF.

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