During the last few years, due to medical and surgical evolution, patients with increasingly severe diseases causing multiorgan dysfunction are frequently admitted to intensive care units. Therapeutic options, when organ failure occurs, are frequently nonspecific and mostly directed towards supporting vital function. In these scenarios, the kidneys are almost always involved and, therefore, renal replacement therapies have become a common routine practice in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury. Recent technological improvement has led to the production of safe, versatile and efficient dialysis machines. In addition, emerging evidence may allow better individualization of treatment with tailored prescription depending on the patients' clinical picture (e.g. sepsis, fluid overload, pediatric). The aim of the present review is to give a general overview of current practice in renal replacement therapies for critically ill patients. The main clinical aspects, including dose prescription, modality of dialysis delivery, anticoagulation strategies and timing will be addressed. In addition, some technical issues on physical principles governing blood purification, filters characteristics, and vascular access, will be covered. Finally, a section on current standard nomenclature of renal replacement therapy is devoted to clarify the "Tower of Babel" of critical care nephrology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)