Modelling transcapillary transport of fluid and proteins in hemodialysis patients

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BACKGROUND The kinetics of protein transport to and from the vascular compartment play a major role in the determination of fluid balance and plasma refilling during hemodialysis (HD) sessions. In this study we propose a whole-body mathematical model describing water and protein shifts across the capillary membrane during HD and compare its output to clinical data while evaluating the impact of choosing specific values for selected parameters. METHODS The model follows a two-compartment structure (vascular and interstitial space) and is based on balance equations of protein mass and water volume in each compartment. The capillary membrane was described according to the three-pore theory. Two transport parameters, the fractional contribution of large pores (αLP) and the total hydraulic conductivity (LpS) of the capillary membrane, were estimated from patient data. Changes in the intensity and direction of individual fluid and solute flows through each part of the transport system were analyzed in relation to the choice of different values of small pores radius and fractional conductivity, lymphatic sensitivity to hydraulic pressure, and steady-state interstitial-to-plasma protein concentration ratio. RESULTS The estimated values of LpS and αLP were respectively 10.0 ± 8.4 mL/min/mmHg (mean ± standard deviation) and 0.062 ± 0.041. The model was able to predict with good accuracy the profiles of plasma volume and serum total protein concentration in most of the patients (average root-mean-square deviation < 2% of the measured value). CONCLUSIONS The applied model provides a mechanistic interpretation of fluid transport processes induced by ultrafiltration during HD, using a minimum of tuned parameters and assumptions. The simulated values of individual flows through each kind of pore and lymphatic absorption rate yielded by the model may suggest answers to unsolved questions on the relative impact of these not-measurable quantities on total vascular refilling and fluid balance.




Pietribiasi, M., Waniewski, J., Załuska, A., Załuska, W., & Lindholm, B. (2016). Modelling transcapillary transport of fluid and proteins in hemodialysis patients. PLoS ONE, 11(8).

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