Multi-centre evaluation of anticoagulation in patients receiving continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT)

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2005 Jul;20(7):1416-21. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfh817. Epub 2005 Apr 26.


Background: Heparin (hepACG) and regional citrate anticoagulation (citACG) remain the most commonly reported continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) ACG methods employed. No prospective multi-centre published data exist that compare different ACG methods with respect to CRRT filter life span or patient complications.

Methods: A total of 138 patients from seven US centres receiving 18 208 h of CRRT comprising a total of 442 CRRT circuits were utilized to assess filter life span and ACG-related complications in patients receiving CRRT with hepACG, citACG or no ACG (noACG).

Results: Mean circuit life was 41.2+/-30.8 h. Mean circuit survival was no different for circuits receiving hepACG (42.1+/-27.1 h) and citACG (44.7+/-35.9 h), but was significantly lower for circuits with noACG (27.2+/-21.5 h, P<0.005). Kaplan-Meier analyses revealed no survival difference between hepACG and citACG circuits, but significantly lower survival for noACG circuits (P<0.001). Log-rank analysis showed that 69% of hepACG and citACG circuits whereas only 28% of noACG were functional at 60 h. Clotting rates were similar for hepACG circuits (58 out of 230, 25%) and citACG circuits (43 out of 158, 27%), but were significantly higher for noACG circuits (27 out of 54, 50%, P < 0.001). Life-threatening bleeding complications attributable to ACG were noted in the hepACG group but were absent in the citACG group.

Conclusions: The current analysis represents the largest evaluation of CRRT ACG methods to date. While the standard hepACG and citACG methods studied in the prospective paediatric CRRT registry led to similar filter life spans and were superior to noACG, our data suggest that citACG may result in less life-threatening complications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Citric Acid / adverse effects
  • Citric Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / prevention & control
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Heparin / adverse effects
  • Heparin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Replacement Therapy / instrumentation
  • Renal Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Citric Acid
  • Heparin