The current foci of renal replacement therapy with dialysis are middle molecular weight toxins, consisting of small proteins, polypeptides and products of glycosylation and lipoxygenation. Conventional high-flux dialysis is not efficient at removing these molecules, explaining the increased interest in using sorbents to supplement dialysis techniques. Prototype biocompatible sorbents have been developed and investigated for middle molecule removal; these have been shown, in man, to remove β2-microglobulin, angiogenin, leptin, cytokines and other molecules, without reducing platelets and leukocytes. Extensive clinical studies are underway to demonstrate the clinical utility and safety of adding routinely a sorbent hemoperfusion device to hemodialysis.
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