Effects of ethylene oxide and steam sterilization on dialysis-induced cytokine release by Cuprophan membrane

Filippo Aucella, Mimmo Vigilante, Giuseppe Gatta, Elvira Grandone, Donatella Colaizzo, Maurizio Margaglione, Sergio Modoni, Carmine Stallone

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The effects of sterilization modalities on dialysis-induced cytokine release are still unknown. To investigate these effects, 8 patients on chronic hemodialysis were enrolled for evaluating at different intervals interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production (pg/ml/106). They were using a 1.3 m2 ethylene oxide (E3) or steam (E3S) sterilized Cuprophan membrane. The patients underwent a basal test with E3 (A1) and 2 following tests after 1 (B1) and 2 (B2) months of E3S treatment, respectively. Finally, the last test was performed 1 month after the switch to E3 (A2). Il-1β predialysis release by mononuclear cells was 162 ± 114 pg/ml/106 in A1, 185 ± 129 pg/ml/106 in B1, and 226 ± 138 pg/ml/106 in B2, then decreased to 123 ± 134 in A2 (p <0.07). Il-1β postdialysis levels were 234 ± 238 pg/ml/106 in A1, 429 ± 285 pg/ml/106 (B1), and 438 ± 473 pg/ml/106 (B2) with the steam membrane, decreasing to 204 ± 134 pg/ml/106 in A2 (p <0.01). TNF-α predialysis basal release (A1) was 826 ± 817 pg/ml/106, 720 ± 496 in B1, and 1079 ± 515 pg/ml/106 in B2, and finally 680 ± 588 pg/ml/106in A2 (p <0.03). In postdialysis TNF-α levels were 963 ± 542 pg/ml/106 in A1, 1,226 ± 541 pg/ml/106, and 1,183 ± 776 in B1 and B2 respectively, and 388 ± 297 pg/ml/106 in A2 (p <0.003). Steam sterilization seems to induce a higher cytokine release by mononuclear cells when a Cuprophan membrane is used. This finding may be related to a less physiologic action of the steam in the case of Cuprophan membranes. Further studies are needed to clarify this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-545
Number of pages3
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Cytokines
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Hemodialysis membrane
  • Steam
  • Sterilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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