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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 22;9(4):e95811. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095811. eCollection 2014.

Evidence that p-cresol and IL-6 are adsorbed by the HFR cartridge: towards a new strategy to decrease systemic inflammation in dialyzed patients?

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Department of Public Health, Section of Nephrology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
Department of Neuroscience, Reproductive and Odontostomatologic Sciences, Section of Pharmacology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
Department of Pharmaceutical and Toxicological Chemistry, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.



Hemodialysis (HD) and hemodiafiltration clear only with a low efficiency the plasma from interleukin-6 and p-cresol, two protein-bound uremic toxins associated with high cardiovascular risk in end stage renal disease. HFR Supra is a double-chamber hemodiafiltration system in which the ultrafiltrate returns to the patient after its regeneration through a resin cartridge that binds hydrophobic and protein-bound solutes. In the present study, we evaluated whether the HFR cartridge can also bind total p-cresol and IL-6 and remove them from the ultrafiltrate.


We compared the levels of IL-6 and p-cresol in ultrafiltrate samples collected at the inlet (UFin) and at the outlet (UFout) of the cartridge at the start or at the end of a 240 min HFR session in 12 inflamed chronic HD patients. The pro-inflammatory activity of the ultrafiltrate samples was also determined by evaluating the changes that they induced in IL-6 mRNA expression and protein release in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 12 healthy volunteers. IL-6 and p-cresol circulating levels were also assessed in peripheral plasma blood samples collected before and after HFR and, for comparison, a control HD.


p-Cresol and IL-6 were lower in UFout than in UFin both at the start and at the end of the HFR session, suggesting that they were retained by the cartridge. IL-6 mRNA expression and release were lower in PBMC incubated with UFout collected at the end than with UFin collected at the start of HFR, suggesting that passage through the cartridge reduced UF pro-inflammatory activity. Plasma total p-cresol decreased by about 53% after HFR, and 37% after HD. IL-6 circulating values were unmodified by either these dialysis procedures.


This study shows that the HFR-Supra cartridge retains total p-cresol and IL-6 in the ultrafiltrate and lowers plasma total p cresol but not IL-6 levels.


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