Results of the HepZero study comparing heparin-grafted membrane and standard care show that heparin-grafted dialyzer is safe and easy to use for heparin-free dialysis

Heparin is used to prevent clotting during hemodialysis, but heparin-free hemodialysis is sometimes needed to decrease the risk of bleeding. The HepZero study is a randomized, multicenter international controlled open-label trial comparing no-heparin hemodialysis strategies designed to assess non-inferiority of a heparin grafted dialyzer (NCT01318486). A total of 251 maintenance hemodialysis patients at increased risk of hemorrhage were randomly allocated for up to three heparin-free hemodialysis sessions using a heparin-grafted dialyzer or the center standard-of-care consisting of regular saline flushes or pre-dilution. The first heparin-free hemodialysis session was considered successful when there was neither complete occlusion of air traps or dialyzer, nor additional saline flushes, changes of dialyzer or bloodlines, or premature termination. The current standard-of-care resulted in high failure rates (50%). The success rate in the heparin-grafted membrane arm was significantly higher than in the control group (68.5% versus 50.4%), which was consistent for both standard-of-care modalities. The absolute difference between the heparin-grafted membrane and the controls was 18.2%, with a lower bound of the 90% confidence interval equal to plus 7.9%. The hypothesis of the non-inferiority at the minus 15% level was accepted, although superiority at the plus 15% level was not reached. Thus, use of a heparin-grafted membrane is a safe, helpful, and easy-to-use method for heparin-free hemodialysis in patients at increased risk of hemorrhage.


Authors: Maurice Laville, Marc Dorval, Joan Fort Ros, Renaud Fay, Jo?lle Cridlig, Jo?lle L Nortier, Laurent Juillard, Alicja D?bska-?lizie?, Loreto Fern?ndez Lorente, Damien Thibaudin, Casper Franssen, Michael Schulz, Fr?d?rique Moureau, Nathalie Loughraieb and Patrick Rossignol

Reference: Kidney Int 86: 1260-1267; advance online publication, July 9, 2014; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.225


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