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Dialysis

The process of filtering the blood when the kidneys are not able to cleanse it.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Dialysis

The process of cleaning wastes from the blood artificially. This job is normally done by the kidneys. If the kidneys fail, the blood must be cleaned artificially with special equipment. The two major forms of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Medical adjuvant treatment to increase the patency of arteriovenous fistulae and grafts used for renal dialysis

People with advanced kidney disease (end‐stage renal disease) need dialysis to perform kidney functions. In haemodialysis, blood is filtered through a machine. To allow a large enough passage for blood to flow between the person and the machine, an artery and a vein can be surgically joined (to form an arteriovenous fistula) or an artificial graft (a substitute for a vein) is used to join the artery to the vein. These access points might last for years but can become blocked or infected. This review investigates if additional medical therapy can keep these dialysis access points functioning.

The use of biocompatible dialysis membranes compared with biocompatible membranes does not appear to have a different effect on mortality in patients with acute renal failure (ARF)

ARF is a common complication of critically ill patients. Death rates are high despite technological advances in kidney replacement treatments, including the use of a dialyzer or artificial kidney to remove toxins from the blood. Dialyzers are manufactured with different materials and are classified as bioincompatible (BICM) or biocompatible (BCM), as they elicit different biological responses when they come into contact with blood. An initial reported benefit of BCM over BICM, was not confirmed by subsequent studies. In this systematic review, a meta‐analysis combining results of several studies of patients with dialysis‐requiring ARF, no clinical advantage was demonstrable with the use of BCM.

Psychosocial interventions for treating depression in dialysis patients

Depression is the most common psychological problem in the chronic dialysis population and it affects their physical, mental and social well‐being. The aim of this review was to determine the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions (e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy) for treating depressed dialysis patients. No relevant randomised controlled trials were identified. Large, long‐term studies are needed in this area.

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Summaries for consumers

Medical adjuvant treatment to increase the patency of arteriovenous fistulae and grafts used for renal dialysis

People with advanced kidney disease (end‐stage renal disease) need dialysis to perform kidney functions. In haemodialysis, blood is filtered through a machine. To allow a large enough passage for blood to flow between the person and the machine, an artery and a vein can be surgically joined (to form an arteriovenous fistula) or an artificial graft (a substitute for a vein) is used to join the artery to the vein. These access points might last for years but can become blocked or infected. This review investigates if additional medical therapy can keep these dialysis access points functioning.

The use of biocompatible dialysis membranes compared with biocompatible membranes does not appear to have a different effect on mortality in patients with acute renal failure (ARF)

ARF is a common complication of critically ill patients. Death rates are high despite technological advances in kidney replacement treatments, including the use of a dialyzer or artificial kidney to remove toxins from the blood. Dialyzers are manufactured with different materials and are classified as bioincompatible (BICM) or biocompatible (BCM), as they elicit different biological responses when they come into contact with blood. An initial reported benefit of BCM over BICM, was not confirmed by subsequent studies. In this systematic review, a meta‐analysis combining results of several studies of patients with dialysis‐requiring ARF, no clinical advantage was demonstrable with the use of BCM.

Psychosocial interventions for treating depression in dialysis patients

Depression is the most common psychological problem in the chronic dialysis population and it affects their physical, mental and social well‐being. The aim of this review was to determine the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions (e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy) for treating depressed dialysis patients. No relevant randomised controlled trials were identified. Large, long‐term studies are needed in this area.

See all (103)

More about Dialysis

Photo of an adult

Also called: Renal dialysis, Extracorporeal dialysis, Artificial kidney dialysis

See Also: Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis, Blood

Other terms to know:
Dialysis Solution, Dialyzer, Kidney

Related articles:
What Does Blood Do?

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