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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 352-363
Current Opinion and Controversies of Dialyser Reuse

Consultant Renal Physician, Sheffield Kidney Institute, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Colin Brown
Consultant Renal Physician, Sheffield Kidney Institute, Sheffield
United Kingdom
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PMID: 18209382

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Reuse of dialysers has been an integral part of hemodialysis since its inception. Over the past decade, reuse has increased significantly in many countries, most notably in the United States, while vanishing entirely in some other countries, such as Portugal and France. In the United States, which is most widely used as an example because of the large amount of data available, the mortality of dialysis patients has steadily decreased even as reuse has increased. This improvement is probably the result of a complex of factors including understanding the role of comorbidity, treatment unit characteristics, barriers to adequate dialysis, nutrition, anemia, high flux dialysis and dialyser membrane improvements and the desired dialysis dose. Reuse provides a significant economic benefit that allows the use of more efficient and expensive larger biocompatible synthetic membranes to provide high-quality dialysis in the face of cost inflation, limited medical resources and fixed reimbursement. Rather than being legitimized by clinical practice alone, reprocessing, supported by clinical studies, allows the provision of superior treatment to more patients safely and economically. Recent reports concerning dialyser reprocessing have centered not only on morbidity and mortality, but also on questions of the specific effects of different germicides on various types of dialyser membranes (e.g., cellulosic, synthetic, high-flux, etc.) and on the possible role of dialyser reprocessing in the transmission of hepatitis C.

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