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Information @ a Glance

  • In medicine, dialysis is primarily used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function (renal replacement therapy) due to renal failure.

  • There are two primary types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

  • In hemodialysis, the patient's blood is pumped through the blood compartment of a dialyzer, exposing it to a semipermeable membrane. The cleansed blood is then returned via the circuit back to the body.

  • In the US, hemodialysis treatments are typically given in a dialysis center three times per week. People in the US are dialyzing at home more frequently for various treatment lengths.

  • In peritoneal dialysis, a sterile solution containing minerals and glucose is run through a tube into the peritoneal cavity, the abdominal body cavity around the intestine, where the peritoneal membrane acts as a semipermeable membrane. The dialysate is left there for a period of time to absorb waste products, and then it is drained out through the tube and discarded.

  • Hemofiltration is a similar treatment to hemodialysis, but it makes use of a different principle. Hemodiafiltration is a term used to describe several methods of combining hemodialysis and hemofiltration in one process.

  • The term high flux dialysis refers to a form of hemodialysis that was developed in recent years to improve the efficiency of dialysis. It has succeeded in both improving the quality of dialysis and in shortening dialysis times.

  • Nephrologists typically use some form of the technique called urea kinetic modeling to determine their dialysis prescription. Using national standards for adequacy of dialysis, and after taking residual renal function into account, urea kinetic modeling uses the dialyzerís performance characteristics and the patientís weight to derive an estimate of the time required for dialysis.

  • A company from Oregon is using an emerging microtechnology from Oregon State University to develop a portable kidney dialysis machine that will make in-home treatment a reality, enabling hundreds of thousands of people afflicted with kidney failure to treat themselves at home instead of traveling to dialysis clinics three days a week.

  • Dialysis patients are prescribed, on averaged, 10 to 14 medications, leading to complicated dosing regimens. Severe renal dysfunction predisposes to altered drug elimination and metabolism, which may be further complicated by continuous or intermittent dialytic procedures.

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