, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 1211-1221,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 07 Mar 2008

What is new in uremic toxicity?

Abstract

Uremic syndrome results from a malfunctioning of various organ systems due to the retention of compounds which, under normal conditions, would be excreted into the urine and/or metabolized by the kidneys. If these compounds are biologically active, they are called uremic toxins. One of the more important toxic effects of such compounds is cardio-vascular damage. A convenient classification based on the physico-chemical characteristics affecting the removal of such compounds by dialysis is: (1) small water-soluble compounds; (2) protein-bound compounds; (3) the larger “middle molecules”. Recent developments include the identification of several newly detected compounds linked to toxicity or the identification of as yet unidentified toxic effects of known compounds: the dinucleotide polyphosphates, structural variants of angiotensin II, interleukin-18, p-cresylsulfate and the guanidines. Toxic effects seem to be typically exerted by molecules which are “difficult to remove by dialysis”. Therefore, dialysis strategies have been adapted by applying membranes with larger pore size (high-flux membranes) and/or convection (on-line hemodiafiltration). The results of recent studies suggest that these strategies have better outcomes, thereby clinically corroborating the importance attributed in bench studies to these “difficult to remove” molecules.