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Vol. 98, No. 3, 2004
Issue release date: November 2004
Nephron Clin Pract 2004;98:c79–c82

Could Plasma Cystatin C Be Useful as a Marker of Hemodialysis Low Molecular Weight Proteins Removal?

Campo A. · Lanfranco G. · Gramaglia L. · Goia F. · Cottino R. · Giusto V.
aRenal Care Unit, S. Lazzaro Hospital, Alba, and bNephrology Laboratory, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, Turin, Italy

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Background: Plasma cystatin (pCyst) is a well-assessed tool for measuring renal function, and it could also play a part in hemodialysis adequacy. Methods: pCyst and other uremic toxins (urea, creatinine, parathyroid hormone, prolactin) were assessed before and after a dialysis session in 18 hemodialysis patients: 7 on bicarbonate hemodialysis (BHD) and 11 on mixed convective dialysis (MCD; 6 standard hemodiafiltration and 5 acetate-free biofiltration). Plasma levels and reduction ratios (RR) were then compared between the BHD and MCD groups. Results: The mean pre-dialysis pCyst level is nearly the same in both groups (5.3 ± 0.8 vs. 5.7 ± 1 mg/l, p = ns), although a substantial decrease occurs after MCD only (mean 2.4 ± 1 vs. 6.2 ± 2.2 mg/l after BHD, p = 0.002). The mean pCyst RR (PCRR) of 55.5% after MCD is poorly related to prolactin and urea RR, fairly comparable to parathyroid hormone RR and very close to creatinine RR (58.4%). Conclusions: Only MCD removes pCyst, but the amount of removal is different for other low molecular weight proteins (prolactin and parathyroid hormone) and similar for creatinine, a classic ‘little molecule’. In view of the discrepancy of these findings, the use of pCyst in hemodialysis still seems premature and needs further studies.

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