Blood purification for prevention and treatment of multiple organ failure

World J Surg. 1996 May;20(4):482-6. doi: 10.1007/s002689900076.


Blood purification has been applied conventionally as an artificial kidney or artificial liver in the management of patients with multiple organ failure (MOF), and most blood purifications have been performed intermittently. Recent advances in medical engineering made it possible to perform such blood purifications continuously (i. e., 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if necessary) even in critically ill patients. This modality is referred to as continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) or continuous blood purification (CBP). Among many kinds of CBP, continuous hemodiafiltration (CHDF) is most useful for management of MOF, as it can be performed without serious or hazardous side effects, and improvement can be expected with it. Recently, CHDF and polymyxin B immobilized endotoxin adsorption columns were used for the prevention or treatment of MOF, with the expectation that such therapy can be effective as a countermeasure against the pathophysiologic causes of MOF. Our data and that of others clearly indicate that continuous blood purification, such as with CHDF and endotoxin adsorption, can remove or decrease the blood levels of humoral mediators, including proinflammatory cytokines, and can improve tissue oxygenation, especially oxygen consumption (VO2) among critically ill patients including those with MOF. Blood purification is also useful in the careful management of fluid, electrolytes, and acid-base balance and for the removal of metabolic wastes. Blood purification is now considered to be one of the basic therapeutic tools of critical care, equal to nutritional support with total parenteral nutrition and respiratory support without a ventilator.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care
  • Endotoxins / blood
  • Hemofiltration / instrumentation
  • Hemoperfusion / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Multiple Organ Failure / blood
  • Multiple Organ Failure / therapy*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Renal Replacement Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Endotoxins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Oxygen