High-risk surgical acute renal failure

High-risk surgical acute renal failure treated by continuous arteriovenous hemodiafiltration: metabolic control and outcome in sixty patients



The outcome and metabolic control was studied in 60 critically ill patients with acute renal failure (ARF) treated by continuous arteriovenous hemodiafiltration (CAVHD) in a single surgical intensive care unit. Mean age (+/- SEM) was 60 +/- 2 years with a male predominance (80%). The majority of patients required mechanical ventilation (83%) and/or vasopressor support (70%) and suffered from multiorgan failure [mean number of organ system failures 3.3 +/- 0.3 (range 1-6)]. CAVHD resulted in a rapid decline of serum urea and creatinine levels during the first 72 h (urea 47.4 +/- 2.3 to 30.3 +/- 1.4 mmol/l, p < 0.05, and creatinine 572 +/- 27 to 361 +/- 23 mumol/l, p < 0.05); thereafter, controlled steady-state levels were achieved with serum urea levels kept below 30 mmol/l with full protein alimentation and often despite hypotension, surgery and septicemia. Significant electrolyte derangements could be easily corrected and maintained within normal limits. Bicarbonate homeostasis could be restored within 48 h in patients with severe metabolic acidosis (HCO3- < 20 mmol/l) with use of bicarbonate as a buffering anion (17 +/- 0.5 to 23.2 +/- 0.6, p < 0.05). CAVHD allowed rapid removal of excess body and lung water (up to 5 liters/day) without hemodynamic instability. Despite a mean pretreatment APACHE II score of 26.5, 26 patients (43%) survived until discharge from the intensive care unit, of whom 23 (38%) survived to leave hospital. Requirement of mechanical ventilation or vasopressor support, higher APACHE II scores and septicemia were all associated with a poor prognosis.

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