Studies addressing the anti-inflammatory properties of citrate dialysate enrolled patients in both hemodialysis (HD) and hemodiafiltration (HDF), the latter not adjusted for adequate convective exchange. This is a potential source of confounding in that HDF itself has anti-inflammatory effects regardless of the buffer, and optimal clinical outcomes are related to the amount of convection.
To distinguish the merits of the buffer from those of convection, we performed a 6-month, prospective, randomized, crossover AB-BA study. Comparisons were made during the 3-month study period of on-line HDF with standard dialysate containing three mmol of acetic acid (OL-HDFst) and the 3-month of OL-HDF with dialysate containing one mmol of citric acid (OL-HDFcit). Primary outcome measure of the study was interleukin-6 (IL-6). Klotho, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fetuin and routine biochemical parameters were also analyzed.
We analyzed 47 patients (mean age 64 years, range 27-84 years) enrolled in 10 participating Nephrology Units. Convective volumes were around 25 L/session with 90 percent of sessions > 20 L and ß2-microglobulin reduction rate 76% in both HDFs. Baseline median IL-6 values in OL-HDFst were 5.6 pg/ml (25:75 interquartile range IQR 2.9:10.6) and in OL-HDFcit 6.6 pg/ml (IQR 3.4:11.4 pg/ml). The difference was not statistically significant (p 0.88). IL-6 values were lower during OL-HDFcit than during OL-HDFst, both when analyzed as the median difference of overall IL-6 values (p 0.02) and as the median of pairwise differences between the baseline and the 3-month time points (p 0.03). The overall hsCRP values too, were lower during OL-HDFcit than during OL-HDFst (p 0.01). Klotho levels showed a time effect (p 0.02) and the increase was significant only during OL-HDFcit (p 0.01).
Citrate buffer modulated IL-6, hsCRP and Klotho levels during high volume OL-HDF. These results are not attributable to differences in the dialysis schedule and may suggest a potential anti-inflammatory and anti-senescent effect of citrate even in dialysis patients with low grade inflammation. identifier NCT02863016.