What is the role of dialysis in the treatment of metabolic alkalosis?

Updated: Dec 10, 2020
  • Author: Christie P Thomas, MBBS, FRCP, FASN, FAHA; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Both peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis can be used with certain modifications of the dialysate to correct metabolic alkalosis. The main indication of dialysis in metabolic alkalosis is in patients with advanced renal failure, who usually have volume overload and are resistant to acetazolamide.

With hemodialysis, metabolic alkalosis may be corrected by using a low-bicarbonate dialysate (bicarbonate can be as low as 18 mmol/L). Otherwise, acetate-free biofiltration (buffer-free dialysate), in which bicarbonate is not present in the dialysate but is infused separately as needed, may be used. In peritoneal dialysis, dialysis can be performed using isotonic sodium chloride solution as the dialysate.


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