The big bang of hemofiltration: the beginning of a new era in the third millennium for extra-corporeal blood purification!

P M Honore', O Joannes-Boyau, L Merson, W Boer, V Piette, A-C Galloy, G Janvier
International Journal of Artificial Organs 2006, 29 (7): 649-59
Since the last decade, hemofiltration and especially high volume hemofiltration has rapidly evolved from a somewhat experimental treatment towards a potentially effective 'adjunctive' therapy in severe septic shock and especially refractory or catecholamine resistant hypodynamic septic shock. Nevertheless, this approach lacks prospective randomized studies (PRT'S) evaluating the critical role of early hemofiltration in sepsis. An important step forward which could be called the 'big bang' in term of hemofiltration was the publication of a PRT in patients with acute renal failure (ARF) (1). Before this study (2), nobody believed that hemofiltration could change the survival rate in intensive care. Since that big bang, many physicians consider that hemofiltration at a certain dose can change the survival rate in intensive care. So the world of hemofiltration in ICU is not a definitive world, it is still in expansion. Indeed, we now have to try to define what will be the exact dose we need in septic acute renal failure. This dose might well be 'higher' than 35 ml/kg/hour in the septic acute renal failure 'group' as suggested by many studies (2-5). At present, it is the issue of continuous dose of high volume hemofiltration that has to be tested in future randomized studies. Since the Vicenza study (2) has shown that 35 ml/kg/h is the best dose in terms of survival, dealing with non septic acute renal failure in ICU, several studies from different groups have shown that, in septic acute renal failure, a higher dose might correlate with better survival. This has also been shown in some way by the study of the 'Vicenza group' but not with a statistically significant value (2). New PRT'S have just started in Europe like the IVOIRE study (hIgh VOlume in Intensive caRE) (6) and the RENAL study. Another large study is looking more basically at dose in non septic acute renal failure in Australasia and is led by the group of Rinaldo Bellomo in Melbourne (7) as well as the ATN study (8) led by Palevsky and colleagues in the USA, also testing the importance of dose in the treatment for ARF. Nevertheless, 'early goal-directed hemofiltration therapy' like early goal directed therapy (9) has to be studied in our critical ill patients. Regarding this issue, fewer studies, mainly retrospective exist, but again the IVOIRE study (6) will address this issue by studying septic patients with acute renal injury according to the Rifle classification (10). So, this review focuses on the early application and on the adequate dose of continuous high volume hemofiltration in septic shock in order to improve not only hemodynamics, but survival in this very severely ill cohort of patients. This could well be called the 'big bang of hemofiltration' as one could never have anticipated that an adequate dose of hemofiltration could markedly influence the survival rate of ICU-septic acute renal failure patients. On top of the use of early and adequate dose of hemofiltration in sepsis, a higher dose could also provide better renal recovery rate and reduce the risk of associate chronic dialysis in these patients. Furthermore, this paper also reviews 'brand' new theories regarding the rationale for hemofiltration in sepsis. Finally, this paper also addresses the so-called negative studies as well anticipated side effects.

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