Dialysis Membranes Influence Perfluorochemical Concentrations and Liver Function in Patients on Hemodialysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Nov 17;15(11):2574. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112574.


Introduction: Perfluoro-octanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoro-octanoic acid (PFOA) are two toxic perfluorochemicals (PFCs) commonly used as surfactants. PFCs are difficult to be eliminated from the body. We investigated the influence of different dialysis membranes on the concentrations of PFCs in patients under hemodialysis. Method: We enrolled 98 patients. Of these, 58 patients used hydrophobic polysulfone (PS) dialysis membranes, and the other 40 had hydrophilic membranes made by poly-methyl methacrylate (PMMA) or cellulose triacetate (CTA). Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry coupled was used with isotope dilution to quantify PFOA and PFOS. Results: The predialysis concentrations of PFOA and PFOS in patients with hydrophobic PS dialysis membranes were 0.50 and 15.77 ng/mL, respectively, lower than the concentrations of 0.81 and 22.70 ng/mL, respectively, in those who used hydrophilic membranes (such as CTA or PMMA). Older patients have higher PFOS and poorer body function, with lower Karnofsky Performance Status Scale (KPSS) scores. The demographic data of the two groups were similar. However, patients with hydrophobic PS dialysis membranes had lower predialysis aspartate transaminase (AST) (p = 0.036), lower glucose levels (p = 0.017), and better body function (nonsignificantly higher KPSS scores, p = 0.091) compared with patients who used other membranes. These differences may be associated with the effects of different membranes, because PFOA positively correlated with AST, while PFOS negatively correlated with body function. Conclusions: This is the first study comparing PFC levels in uremic patients with different dialysis membrane. PS membrane may provide better clearance of PFCs and may, therefore, be beneficial for patients.

Keywords: LC-MS/MS; dialysis membrane; hemodialysis; perfluorochemicals; polysulfone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Blood Glucose
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Liver / chemistry*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases