artificial kidney

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kidney, artificial,

mechanical device capable of assuming the functions ordinarily performed by the kidneys. In treating cases of kidney failure a tube is inserted into an artery in the patient's arm and blood is channeled through semipermeable tubes immersed in a bath containing all the normal blood chemicals except urea and other metabolic waste products. Since the concentration of harmful metabolic wastes are higher in the blood than in the bath, they pass through the walls of the tubes into the bath and purified blood is returned to the body. This process of blood purification, called hemodialysis (see dialysisdialysis
, in chemistry, transfer of solute (dissolved solids) across a semipermeable membrane. Strictly speaking, dialysis refers only to the transfer of the solute; transfer of the solvent is called osmosis.
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), is continuous or intermittent, depending on the residual kidney function in the patient. Kidney transplants usually make hemodialysis unnecessary.

artificial kidney:

see kidney, artificialkidney, artificial,
mechanical device capable of assuming the functions ordinarily performed by the kidneys. In treating cases of kidney failure a tube is inserted into an artery in the patient's arm and blood is channeled through semipermeable tubes immersed in a bath
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Kidney, Artificial


hemodialyzer, an apparatus for the temporary replacement of the excretory function of the kidneys.

The artificial kidney is used to rid the blood of metabolic products, to correct electrolyte-water and acid-alkaline balances in acute and chronic renal insufficiency, to remove dialyzing toxic substances in cases of poisoning, and to remove excess water in cases of edema. In 1913 the American scientist J. Abel created an apparatus for dialysis that was the basis for the design of the artificial kidney; in 1944 the Dutch scientist W.J. Kolff was the first to employ an artificial kidney successfully.

The artificial kidney operates on the principle of the dialysis of substances through a semipermeable membrane (cellophane). Dialysis is a result of the differences in the concentrations of substances in the blood and in the dialyzing solution, which contains glucose and the principal electrolytes of the blood in nearly physiological concentrations without containing any of the substances that must be removed from the body (urea, creatinine, uric acid, sulfates, phosphates). Proteins, formed elements of the blood, bacteria, and substances with a molecular weight of more than 30,000 do not pass through the membrane. During hemodialysis (that is, the operation of the artificial kidney; see Figure 1) the patient’s blood is drawn off through a catheter by a pump from the inferior vena cava and passed inside the chambers of cellophane sheets of the dialyzer; these chambers are washed outside by the dialyzing solution, which is supplied by another pump. Partially purified, the blood is returned to one of the surface veins.

Figure 1. Diagram of Soviet-model artificial kidney apparatus: (1) catheter, (2) pump, (3) dialyzer, (4) catheter for returning blood to the patient, (5) tank for the dialyzing solution

Hemodialysis takes between four and 12 hours; during that time anticoagulants (heparin) are administered to keep the blood from clotting. In acute renal insufficiency the hemodialysis is repeated every three to six days until renal function is restored. With chronic insufficiency, when the treatment is necessary two or three times a week for several months or years, the artificial kidney is hooked up to a teflon shunt that is implanted between the radial artery and the surface vein of the forearm; in this case the blood can enter the dialyzer without the use of a pump. In the USSR, Sweden, France, and the United States, artificial kidney treatment is conducted in special centers that deal with kidney disturbances. The models used in the USSR are developed by the Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Surgical Equipment and Instruments of the Ministry of Public Health of the USSR. Semiautomatic systems for preparing the dialyzing solution and delivering it to the dialyzer are used in performing hemodialysis on several patients simultaneously.


Iskusstvennaia pochka i ee klinicheskoe primenenie. Moscow, 1961.
Fritz, K.W. Hamodialyse. Stuttgart, 1966.


artificial kidney

[¦ärd·ə¦fish·əl ′kid·nē]
An apparatus that performs the work of the kidney in purifying blood; used only in cases of renal failure or shutdown.
References in periodicals archive ?
One component of the new artificial kidney is a silicon nanofilter to remove toxins, salts, some small molecules, and water from the blood.
IAKC is solely involved in the research and development of a fully functional implantable artificial kidney.
are to build a new plant to manufacture artificial kidneys at Toray Medical (Qingdao) Co.
We believe that the Wearable Artificial Kidney will not only reduce the mortality and misery of dialysis patients, but will also result in significant reduction in the cost of providing viable health care," said Dr Victor Gura, who heads the US team at the University of California at Los Angeles.
The artificial kidney is actually a miniature dialysis machine which can be worn by patients, according to new research to be published soon in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Kolff developed the first successful artificial kidney in 1945 by saving the first patient.
said Thursday it will triple its global production of artificial kidney devices used for dialysis treatment equipment by 2010 to meet growing global demand.
In effect, it is an artificial kidney and its work, done on average three times a week, keeps the patient alive and in tolerably good health.
Dialysis works as an artificial kidney for people with renal failure, cleansing their blood of damaging toxins.
The Dutch-American doctor who saved countless lives by inventing an artificial kidney, lung and heart is spending the latter portion of his career trying to save the hospital where he made medical history more than 50 years ago.
A team of researchers at the University of Michigan has successfully tested an artificial kidney lined with kidney filtration cells from pigs ("Replacement of Renal Function in Uremic Animals with a Tissue-Engineered Kidney," Nature Biotechnology, May 1999).
Hemodialysis requires that the patient be connected to an artificial kidney machine three times per week, for approximately four hours per session.

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