The role of intensive dialysis in acute renal failure

D. M. Gillum, B. S. Dixon, M. J. Yanover, S. P. Kelleher, M. D. Shapiro, R. G. Benedetti, M. A. Dillingham, M. S. Paller, J. P. Goldberg, R. C. Tomford

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171 Scopus citations


The efficacy of vigorous dialysis in the management of acute renal failure remains controversial. In order to examine the beneficial role of vigorous dialysis, a prospective study was carried out in 34 patients paired by acute renal failure etiology and treated with sufficient dialysis to maintain predialysis blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine below either 60 and 5 mg/dl (intensive) or 100 and 9 mg/dl, respectively (non-intensive). Serum creatinine was at least 8 mg/dl in all patients prior to random assignment to intensive or non-intensive dialysis. Mean predialysis blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, respectively, were 60 ± 23 and 5.3 ± 1.5 mg/dl in the intensively dialyzed group and 101 ± 18 and 9.1 ± 1.4 mg/dl in the non-intensively dialyzed group (both p < .001). Predialysis serum bicarbonate and blood pH were lower and serum phosphate higher in the non-intensively dialyzed patients. Daily weight changes, increases in blood urea nitrogen, protein and calorie intakes were similar. While hemorrhagic episodes tended to be more frequent in non-intensively dialyzed patients, overall complication rates were not different between the two groups. Mortality rates, which were 58.8% in the intensive and 47.1% in the non-intensive groups, also were not different. On the other hand, urine output prior to dialysis did influence survival. It is concluded that, within the limits of the study, there is no advantage to intensive dialysis in the management of acute renal failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalClinical nephrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986


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