Engineering perspective on the evolution of push/pull-based dialysis treatments

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The incidence of kidney disease is rapidly increasing worldwide, and techniques and devices for treating end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients have been evolving. Better outcomes achieved by convective treatment have encouraged the use of synthetic membranes with high water permeability in clinical setups, and high-flux hemodialysis (HD) and hemodiafiltration (HDF) are now preferred forms of convective therapy in ESRD patients. Push/pull-based dialysis strategies have also been examined to increase convective mass transfer in ESRD patients. The push/pull technique uses the entire membrane as a forward filtration domain for a period of time. However, backfiltration must accompany the forward filtration to compensate for the fluid depletion resulting from the forward filtration, making it necessary to switch the membranes to a backfiltration domain. This paper attempts to describe the advancement of push/pull-based renal supportive treatments in terms of their technical description, hemodialytic efficacy including fluid management accuracy and applicability for clinical use. How the optimization of push and pull actions could translate into better convective efficiency will also be discussed in depth.

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