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Wearable Kidney Safe and Effective

First version of a wearable artificial kidney looks promising

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A wearable artificial kidney appears to be largely safe and effective in patients with end-stage kidney failure, according to study findings published in the Dec. 15 issue of The Lancet.

Andrew Davenport, M.D., from Royal Free and University College Hospital Medical School in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues fitted eight patients with end-stage kidney failure who were on regular hemodialysis with a wearable hemodialysis device for four to eight hours. Patients were given unfractionated heparin as would be the case for standard hemodialysis.

The researchers found that the device did not lead to any adverse cardiovascular changes or changes in serum electrolytes or acid-base balance. The mean blood flow was 58.6 mL/min, the mean dialysate flow was 47.1 mL/min, the mean plasma urea clearance rate was 22.7 mL/min, and the mean plasma creatinine clearance rate was 20.7 mL/min. Two patients had clotting of the vascular access after reducing the heparin dose and the fistula needle became dislodged in one patient, but both problems were resolved.

"The wearable artificial kidney…is a first small step in the long road to wearable blood-cleansing devices," Garabed Eknoyan, M.D., from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, writes in an accompanying editorial.

The study was funded by Xcorporeal Inc., the makers of the device, and several study contributors have disclosed financial relationships with the company.

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