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, 31 (3), 387-401

Renal Replacement Therapy and Anticoagulation


Renal Replacement Therapy and Anticoagulation

Timo Brandenburger et al. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol.


Today, up to 20% of all intensive care unit patients require renal replacement therapy (RRT), and continuous renal replacement therapies (CRRT) are the preferred technique. In CRRT, effective anticoagulation of the extracorporeal circuit is mandatory to prevent clotting of the circuit or filter and to maintain filter performance. At present, a variety of systemic and regional anticoagulation modes for CRRT are available. Worldwide, unfractionated heparin is the most widely used anticoagulant. All systemic techniques are associated with significant adverse effects. Most important are bleeding complications and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT-II). Regional citrate anticoagulation (RCA) is a safe and effective technique. Compared to systemic anticoagulation, RCA prolongs filter running times, reduces bleeding complications, allows effective control of acid-base status, and reduces adverse events like HIT-II. In this review, we will discuss systemic and regional anticoagulation techniques for CRRT including anticoagulation for patients with HIT-II. Today, RCA can be recommended as the therapy of choice for the majority of critically ill patients requiring CRRT.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; bleeding complication; continuous renal replacement therapy; heparin; regional citrate anticoagulation.

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