Citrate versus heparin anticoagulation for continuous renal replacement therapy: an updated meta-analysis of RCTs
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect and safety of citrate versus heparin anticoagulation for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in critically ill patients by performing a meta-analysis of updated evidence.
Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched for eligible studies, and manual searches were also performed to identify additional trials. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of citrate versus heparin anticoagulation for CRRT were considered eligible for inclusion.
Eleven RCTs with 992 patients and 1998 circuits met the inclusion criteria. Heparin was regionally delivered in two trials and systemically delivered in nine trials. Citrate for CRRT significantly reduced the risk of circuit loss compared to regional (HR 0.52, 95 % CI 0.35–0.77, P = 0.001) and systemic (HR 0.76, 95 % CI 0.59–0.98, P = 0.04) heparin. Citrate also reduced the incidence of filter failure (RR 0.70, 95 % CI 0.50–0.98, P = 0.04). The citrate group had a significantly lower bleeding risk than the systemic heparin group (RR 0.36, 95 % CI 0.21–0.60, P < 0.001) and a similar bleeding risk to the regional heparin group (RR 0.34, 95 % CI 0.01–8.24, P = 0.51). The incidences of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and hypocalcemia were increased in the heparin and citrate groups, respectively. No significant survival difference was observed between the groups.
Given the lower risk of circuit loss, filter failure, bleeding, and HIT, regional citrate should be considered a better anticoagulation method than heparin for CRRT in critically ill patients without any contraindication.
KeywordsContinuous renal replacement therapy Citrate Heparin Anticoagulation Randomized controlled trial Meta-analysis
There was no financial support for this work.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
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