Cochrane Summaries

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Not enough evidence to show the effect of synthetic membranes when compared with cellulose membranes for haemodialysis

MacLeod AM, Campbell MK, Cody JD, Daly C, Grant A, Khan I, Rabindranath KS, Vale L, Wallace SA
Published Online: 
8 July 2009

When the kidney fails the blood cannot be filtered properly. Protein breakdown and water need to be removed by haemodialysis, a mechanical process that passes blood over a special filtering membrane. Natural membranes such as cellulose are used. The more expensive synthetic types are considered more compatible as they cause less of an immune response but it is not clear how real clinical outcomes are affected. The review compared synthetic membranes with cellulose/modified cellulose membranes. Not enough evidence was found to show a beneficial effect for synthetic membranes although some improvements were noted. More research is needed.