SOUND evidence demonstrating that the artificial kidney offers a valuable method for treating acute renal failure has been difficult to obtain. Essentially it must be shown that some patients who would otherwise die will recover with use of the artificial kidney. Such salvageable patients should be found among those with acute renal failure who do not recover their renal function when treated by conservative methods alone. For some of these, the additional days of life provided by use of the artificial kidney should lead to a return of adequate kidney function. In our experience, patients of this type, who can be saved by treatment with the artificial kidney, are rarely encountered.
For those suffering from chronic renal failure, the artificial kidney may offer promise of some palliation, but, as might be expected, these patients will ultimately die of their diseases.
This report is an analysis of the effectiveness of the