Mechanisms producing hypoxemia during hemodialysis

Critical Care Medicine
E J QuebbemanW F Piering


Arterial hypoxemia occurs frequently during hemodialysis. Proposed mechanisms for this phenomenon have included hypoventilation and embolism of granulocyte aggregates. We studied 18 patients with endstage renal failure who required chronic hemodialysis, and measured arterial blood gases, pulmonary gas exchange, and dialyzer gas exchange. During use of acetate as a dialysate buffer, PaO2 decreased to 80 +/- 6.8 torr, whereas during use of the bicarbonate buffer oxygen tension remained at 92 +/- 4.9 torr or greater. Hypoventilation and microembolism were not sufficient to explain the degree of hypoxemia during acetate dialysis. Hypoxemia occurred only after the 1st exposure to acetate; neither an instantaneous change to bicarbonate nor stopping dialysis restored oxygen tension to normal. We conclude that a pharmacologic action of acetate adversely affects lung function, aggravating the decreased alveolar oxygen tension (PAO2) due to hypoventilation. Hypoxemia was not present when bicarbonate was used. Acetate buffer should not be used for dialysis in patients with unstable cardiovascular or respiratory systems.


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May 17, 2006·Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation : Official Publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association·Robert J HinchliffeFran Game
Aug 17, 1990·Klinische Wochenschrift·S GrosserH Greten

Related Concepts

Acetic Acids
Kidney Failure, Chronic
Pulmonary Gas Exchange

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