The outcome of critically ill elderly patients with severe acute renal failure treated by continuous hemodiafiltration

R. Bellomo, M. Farmer, N. Boyce

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Objectives: To study the outcome of critically ill elderly patients with severe acute renal failure managed by continuous hemodiafiltration. Design: Prospective study. Setting: Intensive Care Unit of tertiary institution Patients: Seventy-two consecutive critically ill patients of 65 years or older admitted to the ICU with severe acute renal failure. Seventy similar control patients of age < 65 years. Intervention: Treatment of all patients with continuous hemodiafiltration. Measurements and main results: Safety and effectiveness of therapy were assessed. Main outcome measures were duration of oliguria, of ICU stay and hospital stay for survivors, and survival to ICU discharge and to hospital discharge. Mean APACHE II score on admission was 29.8 (95% confidence interval: 28.5 to 31.1) and mean organ failure score prior to initiation of continuous hemodiafiltration was 3.9 (95% confidence interval: 3.6 to 4.2). Sepsis was present in 51 cases (70.8%) and bacteremia or fungemia in 24 (33.3%). Fifty-three (73.6%) required mechanical ventilation for > 3 days. Vasopressor drugs were used in 65 (90.2%). Continuous hemodiafiltration controlled azotemia in all patients and was only associated with minor complications. Thirty-four patients (47.2%) survived to ICU discharge and 30 (41.6%) to hospital discharge. Among survivors, duration of oliguria was 11.6 days (95% confidence interval: 9.1 to 14.1), mean duration of ICU stay 8.6 days (95% confidence interval: 6.1 to 11.) and mean duration of hospital stay 33.1 days (95% confidence interval: 28.8 to 37.4). No statistically significant difference in survival was found when these patients were compared to a control group of similar but younger patients who also received ICU care and continuous hemodiafiltration for the treatment of severe acute renal failure. Conclusions: A greater than 40% survival was achieved in critically ill elderly patients with severe acute renal failure by the use of continuous hemodiafiltration. These patients had an in hospital survival comparable to that of younger patients. These findings support an aggressive renal replacement approach in such patients and suggest that continuous hemodiafiltration may be ideally suited to their management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-472
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute renal failure
  • Critical illness
  • Elderly
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Multi-system organ failure
  • Sepsis

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