CRRT Regional Anticoagulation Using Citrate in the Liver Failure and Liver Transplant Population

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Regional citrate for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) use in patients with liver failure or post–liver transplant has been considered a contraindication because of the risk of citrate toxicity development. Regional citrate has the benefit of decreased bleeding risks over systemic anticoagulation; therefore, it is of great benefit to the coagulopathic and surgical populations. This article analyzes current empiric data and compares with a case study specifically related to liver failure, liver transplant, and CRRT use. We found that the use of a total serum to ionized calcium ratio was much more reliable in measuring liver function than liver enzyme figures. This when paired with a citrate-reduction guideline based on serum to ionized calcium ratios provided effective, early management of citrate toxicity. Using new measurements to calculate liver metabolism of citrate and using a new citrate-reducing guideline allow the bedside practitioner to use regional citrate anticoagulation in patients with liver failure and liver transplant who require CRRT.

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