Commercial low-citrate anticoagulation haemofiltration in high risk patients with frequent filter clotting

T. Naka, M. Egi, R. Bellomo, L. Cole, C. French, J. Botha, L. Wan, N. Fealy, I. Baldwin

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This study assessed the safety and efficacy of a commercial low-citrate concentration-based pre-filter replacement fluid during continuous veno-venous haemofiltration (CVVH) in patients with frequent filter clotting and high risk of bleeding. We used a commercial low-citrate fluid as pre-dilution replacement fluid during CVVH (citrate: 11 mmol/l (33 meq/l), sodium: 140 mmol/l, chloride: 108 mmol/l and potassium: 1 mmol/l). A calcium and magnesium infusion was delivered separately by central line for the maintenance of serum ionized calcium (Cai) and total magnesium (Mg). In this prospective observational study, 30 patients, 124 filters and 1,515 treatment-hours were observed. Median filter life of citrate CVVH was 9.5 hours. Filter life in the 48 hours prior to citrate CVVH was also observed. In the patients on prior non-anticoagulant CVVH (n = 14) filter life increased significantly with citrate (9.5 hours vs 5 hours; P< 0.0001). In patients on prior heparin CVVH (n = 15), filter life was similar with citrate (10 hours vs 8 hours; P= 0.68). However, in patients with prior early/frequent filter clotting despite heparin (n = 11) filter life increased significantly (10 hours vs 7 hours; P=0.038). Of 411 serum Cai measurements, none showed a Cai<0.85 mmol/l and, of 84 observations, none showed a serum Mg<0.6mmol/l. One patient with sepsis and shock needed to cease citrate CVVH because of progressive ionized hypocalcaemia and increasing anion gap. No other adverse effects were observed. In selected patients, CVVH with a commercial low-citrate concentration solution as pre-filter replacement fluid and a simultaneous calcium and magnesium infusion protocol appears generally safe. Filter life was acceptable and superior to that achieved with previous treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-608
Number of pages8
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute renal failure
  • Haemofiltration: citrate
  • Intensive care
  • Ionized calcium

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