Background/Aims: To study the effect of different modes of continuous veno-venous haemofiltration (CVVH) on filter run time (FRT). Methods: We studied, in two consecutive prospective, randomised and crossover studies, 16 and 15 patients with acute renal failure during critical illness. Study A compared pre- versus post-dilution, and study B compared regional anticoagulation with heparin (pre-filter) and protamine (post-filter) (HP) versus nadroparin (NP) pre-filter. All CVVH sessions were standardised. Analyses were by Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Results: Study A: During pre-dilution the median FRT was 45.7 vs. 16.1 h in post-dilution CVVH (p = 0.005). The median creatinine clearance during pre-dilution was 33 vs. 45 ml/min in post-dilution (p = 0.001). Study B: During NP, median FRT was 39.5 vs. 12.3 h during HP CVVH (p = 0.045). Conclusions: Pre-dilution CVVH results in the greatest FRT but a lower plasma creatinine clearance compared to post-dilution. Regional anticoagulation with heparin-protamine resulted in a significantly shorter FRT compared to systemic NP anticoagulation.

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