Background: Parameters of splanchnic regional perfusion, like intramucosal pH (pHi) and pCO(2) (pCO(2)i), may predict outcome in septic shock patients. Continuous venovenous haemofiltration (CVVH) has been considered beneficial in haemodynamically unstable septic shock patients. In a prospective, randomized, clinical study, we investigated whether CVVH, in comparison to intermittent haemodialysis (IHD), is able to improve splanchnic regional perfusion in critically ill patients.
Methods: Thirty septic shock patients with acute renal failure were randomized to either CVVH (n=20) or IHD (n=10) groups for renal replacement therapy. Patient characteristics at baseline were not different in terms of severity of illness (APACHE II scores), haemodynamics, and pHi/pCO(2)i values. Systemic haemodynamics, oxygen transport variables, and splanchnic regional perfusion parameters were measured at 0.5, 2, 4 and 24 h after initiation of renal replacement therapy. There were no major changes in vasopressor support throughout the 24-h study period.
Results: In contrast to IHD, CVVH caused a decrease in heart rate (-3+/-11 vs +9+/-8/min, P<0.01) and an increase in systolic blood pressure (+12+/-1 vs -5+/-17 mmHg, P<0.05) after 2 h. After 24 h, increased systemic vascular resistance was found in the CVVH group in comparison with the IHD group (+312+/-755 vs -29+/-89 dyne/cm(5), P<0.05) and was accompanied by a decrease in cardiac output (-1.54+/-1.4 vs -0.25+/-0.9 l/min, P<0.01). However pHi values remained constant throughout the 24-h study period in both groups and were not different between the groups (CVVH 7.19+/-0.1 vs IHD 7.19+/-0.1, n.s.) as did the pCO(2)i values (CVVH +7+/-17 vs IHD 0+/-15 mmHg, n.s.) and pCO(2) gap values (CVVH +6+/-15 vs IHD +5+/-12 mmHg, n.s.).
Conclusions: Despite different changes of systemic haemodynamics between CVVH and IHD, CVVH did not improve parameters of splanchnic regional perfusion like pHi, pCO(2)i or pCO(2) gap in septic shock patients.