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Prostacyclin substitution for heparin in long-term hemodialysis

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      Abstract

      We studied prostacyclin as a substitute for heparin in 12 patients who underwent maintenance hemodialysis. All subjects underwent initial hemodialysis with prostacyclin as the sole anticoagulant; 10 of the 12 were restudied during heparin hemodialysis. Few adverse reactions occurred during prostacyclin hemodialysis in the 10 patients in whom dialysis was performed against a bicarbonate-containing dialysate; however, significant hypotension developed in two subjects when an acetate bath was used. Platelet aggregation progressively decreased during prostacyclin hemodialysis (p < 0.02), but not during heparin hemodialysis, and returned toward control values after hemodialysis. Platelet thromboxane release decreased during both prostacyclin and heparin hemodialysis. Intradialytic percent decrements in serum urea nitrogen and creatinine were greater during prostacyclin than heparin administration (42 ± 2.9 percent versus 36 ± 2.6 percent [p < 0.05] and 33 ± 2.6 percent versus 29 ± 2.1 percent [0.05 < p < 0.1], respectively). The plasma concentrations of 6-keto-prostaglandin-F, a prostacyclin metabolite, reached peak levels by 120 minutes of hemodialysis and declined biexponentially toward predialysis concentrations during 120 minutes after hemodialysis, thereby providing an index of cumulative prostacyclin dosage. We conclude that prostacyclin is not only a safe alternative to heparin anticoagulation during hemodialysis, but that prostacyclin might also increase the efficiency of hemodialysis.
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