Intensive Care Medicine

, 34:2139 | Cite as

Renal replacement therapies: physiological review

  • Claudio RoncoEmail author
  • Zaccaria Ricci



A physiological review on renal replacement therapies (RRT) is a challenging task: there is nothing "physiologic" about RRT, since the most accurate, safe and perfectly delivered extracorporeal therapy would still be far from "physiologically" replacing the function of the native kidney.


This review will address the issues of physiology of fluid and solute removal, acid base control and impact on mortality during intermittent and continuous therapies: different RRT modalities and relative prescriptions will provide different "physiological clinical effects" to critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI), with the aim of restoring lost "renal homeostasis". On the other side, however, the "pathophysiology" of RRT, consists with unwanted clinical effects caused by the same treatments, generally under-recognized by current literature but often encountered in clinical practice. Physiology and pathophysiology of different RRT modalities have been reviewed.


Physiology and pathophysiology of RRT often coexist during dialysis sessions. Improvement in renal recovery and survival from AKI will be achieved from optimization of therapy and increased awareness of potential benefits and dangers deriving from different RRT modalities.


Renal failure Dialysis and hemofiltration 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and TransplantationS.Bortolo HospitalVicenzaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric CardiosurgeryBambino Gesù HospitalRomeItaly

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