Inflammatory response of a new synthetic dialyzer membrane. A randomised cross-over comparison between polysulfone and helixone

Int J Artif Organs. 2003 Jan;26(1):26-32. doi: 10.1177/039139880302600105.


Hemodialysis patients suffer from chronic inflammation due to intradialytic contact of blood with artificial materials. The FX 60 dialyzer which belongs to the new FX-class series of dialyzers is composed of the new membrane Helixone. This membrane is derived from the original Fresenius Polysulfone membrane. The FX-class design is based on modified geometry of fibres and housing and has resulted in a new dialyzer with improved efficiency, safety and ease of handling compared to the F series (F 60S) dialyzer. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the biocompatibility pattern in terms of inflammatory parameters of the new type of polysulfone dialyzer has changed compared to the standard. A clinical in vivo study was conducted to compare the intradialytic inflammatory response of the two dialyzers, FX 60 and F 60S. Eight chronic dialysis patients were selected for the study: mean age 65.5 +/- 15.5 years, mean time on dialysis 100 +/- 95 months. The randomized cross-over study involved a treatment period of 2 weeks (total 6 sessions), one week with each dialyzer, starting with one or the other according to the randomization scheme. Blood samples were taken at 0 (T0), 15, 60, and 240 minutes to evaluate white blood cell (WBC) count, complement factor C5a, leukocyte elastase, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), platelet count, C-reactive protein (CRP). At 15 min, WBC count showed a comparably, low decrease for both dialyzers: -7.6% for FX 60 versus -6.6% for F 60S, p=not significant (ns). At the same time the C5a concentration decreased from 15.0 +/- 7.5 ng/ml to 13.5 +/- 6.7 ng/ml (p=ns) for FX 60, and from 15.1 +/- 12.5 ng/ml to 14.9 +/- 25.0 ng/ml for F 60S (p=ns). The elastase concentration progressively increased over time with no statistical difference between the two dialyzers. The levels of sICAM-1, CRP, and platelet count were similar at each time point for both dialyzers, varying around the baseline values (p=ns). No significant difference emerged in terms of inflammatory response between the two dialyzers, hemo demonstrating that the biocompatibility of the F-series was maintained in the FX-class series of dialyzers and is independent of design factors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biocompatible Materials / adverse effects*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Complement C5a / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Elastase / metabolism
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / instrumentation*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Complement C5a
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Pancreatic Elastase