Kidney failure associated with liver transplantation or liver failure: The impact of continuous veno-venous hemofiltration

T. Naka, L. Wan, Rinaldo Bellomo, B. Zong Wang, R. Jones, R. Berry, P. Angus, P. Gow

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Background and aims: The short-term outcome of critically ill patients with kidney failure combined with severe liver failure or orthotopic liver transplantation (OLTx) is poor. We sought to test the hypothesis that, with the exclusive use of continuous veno-venous hemofiltration (CVVH) with minimal heparin-anticoagulation, the short and long-term outcomes of these patients would be improved. Patients: Sixty-six consecutive patients with combined liver and kidney failure Setting: Intensive Care Unit of tertiary hospital Design: Retrospective interrogation of prospectively collected databases Intervention: Treatment of all patients with continuous veno-venous hemofiltration (CVVH) by protocol with 2L/h of ultrafiltration rate and minimal use of circuit heparinization. Retrieval of specific information on demographic, clinical, therapeutic and outcome details. Measurements and main results: From July 1995 to April 2004, 66 patients with combined liver and renal failure received continuous veno-venous hemofiltration (CVVH). Of these, 26 received liver transplantation and 40 did not. There were no significant differences in age, APACHE II score, bilirubin, ALT, INR or albumin on admission. The average duration of CVVH was 9.5 days for OLTx patients and 5 days for non-transplanted patients (p=0.013). Heparin anticoagulation was used in only 12% of OLTx patients and 20% of non-transplanted patients. ICU mortality was 15% in OLTx 70% (p<0.001). Mean survival time at follow up was 1,120 days compared to 358 days (p<0.0001). Conclusions: ARF associated with OLTx has a much better outcome than ARF without OLTx. Furthermore, management based on a conservative anticoagulation policy and CVVH as the exclusive form of renal support was associated with the best ICU, hospital and long term survival reported so far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Dialysis
  • Hemofiltration
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Liver transplantation

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