Effects of filter pore size on efficacy of continuous arteriovenous hemofiltration therapy for Staphylococcus aureus-induced septicemia in immature swine

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To evaluate the effect of hemofilter pore size on the efficacy of continuous arteriovenous hemofiltration (CAVH) in improving morbidity and mortality in an immature swine model of Staphylococcus aureus-induced septicemia.


Prospective, randomized study with age-matched controls.


Biomedical research facility.


Fourteen 4 to 8-wk-old, weaned Poland-China swine, weighing 5 to 10 kg.


Spontaneously breathing, ketamine-sedated swine (4 to 8 wks of age) were given an intravenous lethal dose of live S. aureus. Animals were then filtered with either a 50-kilodalton (kD) pore size filter (control) or a 100-kD pore size filter (experimental). No animals received antibiotics.

Measurements and Main Results

Physiologic, biochemical, and hematologic parameters were measured in all animals every 1 to 3 hrs. Animals were monitored continuously and survival time (hr) was recorded (permanent survival = 168 hrs/7 days). Animals filtered with the 100-kD filter survived significantly longer than control animals (103 +/- 18 [SEM] vs. 56 +/- 9 hrs). The 100-kD-filtered group had one permanent survivor (168 hrs). Protein concentration of the ultrafiltrate obtained from the 100-kD-filtered animals was eight-fold higher than control ultrafiltrate. The protein removed did not contain a high percentage of albumin (as determined by autoanalyzer methods). No significant differences were seen in any of the other measured parameters.


CAVH significantly improved survival in swine with S. aureus-induced sepsis. The superior performance of the 100-kD filter vs. the 50-kD filter suggests that higher molecular weight mediators that are not removed efficiently by the 50-kD filter may be responsible for the morbidity and mortality seen in this model of sepsis. These mediators may be removed in greater proportion by our customized (100-kD pore size) filter. (Crit Care Med 1998; 26:730-737)

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