INTRODUCTION: The standard of care for refractory hyperkalemia is renal replacement therapy (RRT). However, traditional RRT requires specialized equipment, trained personnel, and large amounts of dialysate. It is therefore poorly suited for austere environments. We hypothesized that a simplified hemoperfusion system could control serum potassium concentration in a swine model of acute hyperkalemia. METHODS: Ten pigs were anesthetized and instrumented. A dialysis catheter was inserted. After bilateral nephrectomy, animals received intravenous potassium chloride and were randomized to the control or treatment group. In both groups, blood was pumped through an extracorporeal circuit (EC) with an in-line hemodialyzer. In the treatment arm, ultrafiltrate from the hemodialyzer was diverted through cartridges containing novel potassium binding beads and returned to the EC. Blood samples were obtained every 30 min for 6 h. RESULTS: Serum potassium concentration was significantly lower in the treatment than in the control group over time (P = 0.02). There was no difference in serum total calcium concentration for group or time (P = 0.13 and 0.44, respectively) or platelet count between groups or over time (P = 0.28 and 1, respectively). No significant EC thrombosis occurred. Two of five animals in the control group and none in the treatment group developed arrhythmias. All animals survived until end of experiment. CONCLUSIONS: A simplified hemoperfusion system removed potassium in a porcine model. In austere settings, this system could be used to temporize patients with hyperkalemia until evacuation to a facility with traditional RRT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine