Adsorption dialysis: From physical principles to clinical applications

Filippo Aucella, Antonio Gesuete, Mimmo Vigilante, Michele Prencipe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The uremic syndrome is characterized by the retention of various solutes that would normally be excreted by the kidneys. The substances that interact negatively with biologic functions are called uremic toxins. Over the past five decades, the membranes used for the treatment of chronic kidney disease have continuously evolved. The exposure of blood to any extracorporeal artificial surface results in the activation of several pathways within the body, including those involving coagulation and complement activation. One of the by-products of this generalized activation process is protein adsorption to the membrane surface, another phenomenon which can have a significant impact on solute removal. In fact, an array of studies showed that with increasing size of middle-sized proteins and other compounds, relatively more clearance is achieved by membrane adsorption compared with loss into the dialysate. A high adsorptive capacity, one of the main features of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) membranes, is very helpful and may both increase the total amount of solutes removed and remove different kinds of solutes. In this setting, a few studies have shown a variety of efficient clinical implications for adsorption hemodialysis, such as uremic pruritus, anemia, carpal tunnel syndrome and renal amyloidosis, immune dysfunction and improved response to vaccination. In addition, nutrition and survival were also improved using PMMA membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages6
JournalBlood Purification
Issue numberSUPPL.2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Adsorption
  • Dialysis membrane
  • Hemodialysis
  • Uremic toxins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Hematology


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