What is Hemodiafiltration?

Hemodiafiltration is a form of treatment to remove waste and toxins from your blood to treat kidney disease, and is said to be more effective than hemodialysis.

An estimated 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When your kidneys can no longer efficiently remove waste from your blood on their own, it’s a condition known as kidney failure. It’s often preceded by diabetes and high blood pressure and increases the risk for a heart attack or a stroke.

While hemodiafiltration has been an effective treatment option for kidney failure used in Europe, it’s only been available to help people with kidney failure in the United States for a short time. During a hemodialysis treatment with hemodiafiltration, more water is removed from the blood than during a normal dialysis treatment. The process helps remove larger toxin particles not always filtered out during a standard dialysis treatment. Once excess water and toxins are removed, the hemodiafiltration machine replaces the water with a purified electrolyte solution, then returns the treated blood back into the body.

Dialysis treatment companies like DaVita and Fresenius now use hemodiafiltration as a treatment method for some patients with chronic kidney failure. It’s an effective way to treat kidney failure, but may also increase longevity. In a study presented at the European Dialysis and Transplantation Association, researchers found that mortality rates dropped by 35 percent for kidney failure patients who received hemodiafiltration treatments compared to those who didn’t.

“This process is gradually establishing itself as an advanced and innovative treatment modality in dialysis,” says Fresenius Medical Care Management Board Member Emanuele Gatti. “It significantly improves life expectancy and the quality of life of patients.”

Hemodiafiltration or traditional dialysis treatments are necessary for people who have kidney disease or kidney failure. But it’s not the only strategy used to help dialysis patients maintain their quality of life. Diet is just as critical and you can take the guesswork out of what you should eat when you have kidney disease by eating dialysis-friendly MagicKitchen meals like our Spaghetti dinner, Turkey Chili with Brown Rice, or the Sweet and Sour Chicken with Zucchini & Onion.

How does it work?

As in dialysis, in hemofiltration one achieves movement of solutes across a semi-permeable membrane. However, solute movement with hemofiltration is governed by convection rather than by diffusion. With haemofiltrate, dialysate is not used. Instead, a positive hydrostatic pressure drives water and solutes across the filter membrane from the blood compartment to the filtrate compartment, from which it is drained. Solutes, both small and large, get dragged through the membrane at a similar rate by the flow of water that has been engendered by the hydrostatic pressure. Thus convection overcomes the reduced removal rate of larger solutes (due to their slow speed of diffusion) seen in hemodialysis.
-Reprinted from Wikipedia