Among the limitations of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in patients with severe acute renal failure (ARF) and cardiovascular instability is the use of acetate in the substitution fluid. Acetate is required to maintain acidity of the polyelectrolytic solution to avoid calcium carbonate precipitation in the presence of bicarbonate. In addition, in patients with cardiovascular instability, acetate metabolism is impaired and further compromises hemodynamics. A new CRRT technique is proposed in which bicarbonate is used as a buffer, but the acetate requirements are cancelled: acetate free veno-venous hemofiltration (AF-CVVH). This technique allows control of acid-base disturbances independent of urea removal. This preliminary report describes the feasibility of the technique based on separate infusion of water and electrolytes administered prefiltration, and isotonic sodium bicarbonate administered post filtration. The setting of the technique, adapted to the PRISMA device (Hospal, Lyon, France), was based on a model predicting the bicarbonate infusion rate for a target plasma bicarbonate level. The AF-CVVH was compared with conventional, continuous veno-venous hemofiltration (CVVH) in a crossover study that showed AF-CVVH allowed fastest control of acidosis, avoiding 70 to 80 mmol/ d of acetate transfer to the patient. Urea removal was similar with both techniques. It was concluded that AF-CVVH, when compared with CVVH, has the main advantage of separately controlling urea retention and metabolic acidosis in patients with severe ARF and cardiovascular instability.
Copyright © 1998 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs