Haemodiafiltration does not lower protein-bound uraemic toxin levels compared with haemodialysis in a paediatric population

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2020 Apr 1;35(4):648-656. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfz132.


Background: Haemodiafiltration (HDF) is accepted to effectively lower plasma levels of middle molecules in the long term, while data are conflicting with respect to the additive effect of convection on lowering protein-bound uraemic toxins (PBUTs). Here we compared pre-dialysis β2-microglobulin (β2M) and PBUT levels and the percentage of protein binding (%PB) in children on post-dilution HDF versus conventional high- (hf) or low-flux (lf) haemodialysis (HD) over 12 months of treatment.

Methods: In a prospective multicentre, non-randomized parallel-arm intervention study, pre-dialysis levels of six PBUTs and β2M were measured in children (5-20 years) on post-HDF (n = 37), hf-HD (n = 42) and lf-HD (n = 18) at baseline and after 12 months. Analysis of variance was used to compare levels and %PB in post-HDF versus conventional hf-HD and lf-HD cross-sectionally at 12 months and longitudinal from baseline to 12 months.

Results: For none of the PBUTs, no difference was found in either total and free plasma levels or %PB between post-HDF versus the hf-HD and lf-HD groups. Children treated with post-HDF had lower pre-dialysis β2M levels [median 23.2 (21.5; 26.6) mg/dL] after 12 months versus children on hf-HD [P<0.01; 35.2 (29.3; 41.2) mg/dL] and children on lf-HD [P<0.001; 47.2 (34.3; 53.0) mg/dL]. While β2M levels remained steady in the hf-HD and lf-HD group, a decrease in β2M was demonstrated for children on post-HDF (P<0.01).

Conclusions: While post-HDF successfully decreased β2M, no additive effect on PBUT over 12 months of treatment was found. PBUT removal is complex and hampered by several factors. In children, these factors might be different from adults and should be explored in future research.

Keywords: child; end-stage kidney disease; haemodiafiltration; protein-bound uraemic toxins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hemodiafiltration / methods*
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Non-Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Toxins, Biological / metabolism*
  • Uremia / epidemiology
  • Uremia / metabolism
  • Uremia / physiopathology*
  • Uremia / therapy
  • Young Adult


  • Toxins, Biological