A biphasic dialytic strategy for the treatment of neonatal hyperammonemia

Pediatr Nephrol. 2014 Feb;29(2):315-20. doi: 10.1007/s00467-013-2638-x.


Background: Neonates with inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) often develop hyperammonemia which, if not corrected quickly, may result in poor neurologic outcomes. As pharmacologic therapy cannot rapidly lower ammonia levels, dialysis is frequently required. Both hemodialysis (HD) and standard-dose continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) are effective; however, HD may be followed by post-dialytic ammonia rebound, and standard-dose CRRT may not effect a rapid enough decrease in ammonia levels.

Case-diagnosis/treatment: We present two cases of IEM-associated neonatal hyperammonemia in which we employed a biphasic, high-dose CRRT treatment strategy, initially using dialysate flow rates of 5,000 mL/h (approximately 40,000 mL/h/1.73 m(2)) in order to rapidly decrease ammonia levels, then decreasing the dialysate flow rates to 500 mL/h (approximately 4,000 mL/h/1.73 m(2)) in order to prevent ammonia rebound.

Conclusions: This biphasic dialytic treatment strategy for neonatal hyperammonemia effected rapid ammonia reduction without rebound and accomplished during a single dialysis run without equipment changes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hyperammonemia / etiology
  • Hyperammonemia / therapy*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / complications
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*