• Neutrophils are activated during sepsis. To find out whether granulocytes are further activated during hemodialysis with cellulosic and noncellulosic membranes, we compared the plasma levels of the main granulocyte components in patients with chronic uremia who were undergoing regular hemodialysis treatment and patients with acute renal failure with and without sepsis. During hemodialysis with cuprophane dialyzers, plasmagranulocyte elastase, in complex with α-proteinase inhibitor, and lactoferrin levels increased in patients who were undergoing regular hemodialysis treatment, but these levels increased further in patients with acute renal failure who did not have sepsis. Maximal neutrophil degranulation was observed in patients with acute renal failure and sepsis. There was only mild degranulation in all three groups during dialysis with dialyzers made of polysulfone. Our data demonstrate that neutrophil activation is increased in patients with acute renal failure, and it is increased further by superimposed sepsis. Cellulose-containing dialysis membranes introduce a further activation of neutrophils.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:651-654)