Establishment of a blood purification system for renal failure rats using small-size dialyzer membranes

Ther Apher Dial. 2012 Dec;16(6):566-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-9987.2012.01091.x. Epub 2012 Aug 7.


Hemodialysis techniques for small animals have not been established because no small dialysis apparatus has been available. We recently developed a small-size dialyzer and established an appropriate blood purification system for small animals. To confirm the appropriate dialysate flow rate, bovine blood was dialyzed for 60 min at a fixed blood flow rate of 1.0 mL/min and variable dialysate flow rates. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels decreased significantly at a dialysate flow rate of 5 mL/min (from 13.7 ± 0.2 to 10.3 ± 1.2 mg/dL and 1.07 ± 0.15 to 0.61 ± 0.12 mg/dL, respectively, P < 0.05). To determine the appropriate in vivo conditions, extracorporeal circulation was performed in anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats at a dialysate flow rate of 0.0 mL/min, for 240 min, and at variable blood flow rates. Extracorporeal circulation was successful at a blood flow rate of 1.0 mL/min, but not 1.5 mL/min. To establish in vivo hemodialysis conditions, we used the animal model of end stage renal failure. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a 0.75% adenine-containing diet for 3 weeks, after which they received hemodialysis for 120 min at a dialysate and blood flow rate of 5.0 and 1.0 mL/min, respectively. There were no significant changes in systolic blood pressure or heart rate during dialysis. Thus, this blood purification system can be safely used for small animals at a dialysate flow rate of 5.0 mL/min and a blood flow rate of 1.0 mL/min. This system provides a basis for further research on hemodialysis therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Cattle
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / methods*
  • Heart Rate
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Renal Dialysis / instrumentation
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Creatinine