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An update on membranes and cartridges for extracorporeal blood purification in sepsis and septic shock

Honoré, Patrick M.a; De Bels, Davida; Spapen, Herbert D.b

Current Opinion in Critical Care: December 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 463–468
doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000542
RENAL SYSTEM: Edited by Thomas Rimmelé

Purpose of review This review aims to summarize the most recent advances on different membranes and cartridges used for extracorporeal blood purification in critically ill patients with sepsis or septic shock.

Recent findings Despite positive signals from experimental, cases and small clinical studies, blood purification showed no distinct morbidity and mortality benefit in large clinical trials.

Summary None of the discussed specific membranes or cartridges can currently be recommended as sole adjunctive treatment in sepsis and septic shock. Any available technique should be timely initiated and adapted to the patient's status. Sickest patients seem to benefit more from blood purification. Patient selection is thus of crucial importance and may be optimized by focusing on disease severity and degree of organ failure. Measurement of endotoxin activity and plasma procalcitonin levels can support the selection process but ideal cutoff values need to be defined. Well-designed prospective randomized clinical trials assessing or comparing the various available membranes and cartridges are eagerly awaited.

aICU Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Brugmann

bUniversitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, VUB University, Brussels, Belgium

Correspondence to Patrick M. Honoré, MD, PhD, FCCM, Professor of Medicine, ICU Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Brugmann, Place Van Gehuchtenplein, 4, 1020 Brussels, Belgium. Tel: +32 2 4775444; fax: +32 2 4773458; e-mail:

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