Background: Evaluation of beta2-microglobulin (beta2m) removal during hemodialysis using predialysis and immediate postdialysis plasma concentrations is only valid in the absence of postdialysis rebound. Postdialysis rebound of beta2m has not been studied extensively, and its importance in the determination of beta2m clearance is unknown.
Methods: We evaluated the kinetics of urea and beta2m in a crossover study of 10 chronic hemodialysis patients using dialyzers with similar urea mass transfer-area coefficients containing either low-flux cellulose acetate or high-flux cellulose triacetate membranes. Kinetics were examined during and following a 210 minute treatment by measuring plasma concentrations predialysis at regular intervals during therapy and at 0, 2, 10, 20, 30, and 60 minutes postdialysis. Clearances of urea and beta2m were also determined directly from the arterial and venous concentration differences across the dialyzer at 60 minutes after starting dialysis.
Results: By design, urea removal was similar for both low-flux and high-flux dialyzers as assessed by the urea reduction ratio and Kt/V. Postdialysis urea rebound was similar for low- and high-flux dialyzers; the rebound in the plasma urea nitrogen concentration (expressed as a percentage of the intradialytic decrease in plasma concentration) was 9.2 +/- 1.9% (mean +/- SEM) at 30 minutes postdialysis and 13.0 +/- 1.4% at 60 minutes postdialysis for a single pool urea Kt/V of 1.16 +/- 0.05. The plasma beta2m concentration increased by 11.1 +/- 3.0% during the treatment using the low-flux dialyzer but decreased by 27.1 +/- 4.0% during the treatment using the high-flux dialyzer. When using the high-flux dialyzer, the rebound of beta2m was 44.8 +/- 21.4% at 30 minute postdialysis and 45.9 +/- 15.9% at 60 minutes postdialysis. The clearance of beta2m for the high-flux dialyzer calculated from predialysis and immediate postdialysis plasma concentrations using a single-compartment model (28.2 +/- 4.4 ml/min) was higher (P < 0.05) than that determined directly across the dialyzer (18.3 +/- 2.0 ml/min). If either the 30- or 60-minute postdialysis plasma beta2m concentration was used instead, the calculated beta2m clearance (16. 5 +/- 4.8 ml/min or 15.6 +/- 2.8 ml/min, respectively) was similar to that determined directly across the dialyzer.
Conclusions: Postdialysis rebound of beta2m when using high-flux dialyzers is substantial; neglecting postdialysis rebound results in an overestimation of beta2m clearance when calculated using a single-compartment model.