The treatment of patients suffering from acute renal insufficiency has improved remarkably in the past 10 years. Renal insufficiency secondary to obstructive uropathy and fluid and electrolyte imbalances are more regularly detected and better treated In addition, nutritional and fluid management is fairly well delineated for the acute renal insufficiency related to primary renal disease, and the more especially that associated with acute tubular necrosis.
Although the artificial kidney has been used extensively in treating uremia, it has certain disadvantages: A trained team and relatively expensive equipment are needed; a large quantity of blood may be necessary for priming the apparatus, and operative procedures are necessary to effect connections between the dialyzer and the patient's blood vessels. Furthermore, rapid changes in the plasma electrolyte pattern are generally effected in order that vascular perfusion of the patient is not prolonged unduly. This forces the patient, who is frequently dangerously ill, to