Kidney international vol:45 issue:5 pages:1497-503
Anaphylactoid reactions (AR) are the most feared complications of hemodialysis. Recently, a high incidence of AR has been reported during dialysis with AN69 membranes in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. Plasma levels of C3a, histamine and bradykinin were measured in 12 patients at the onset of AR during dialysis with AN69. We also investigated bradykinin generation in 10 symptom-free patients dialyzed with four different membranes. None of the 12 patients studied during AR displayed excessive complement activation or histamine release. In contrast, high bradykinin plasma levels (2392 +/- 53 fmol/ml; mean +/- SEM) were observed in all nine patients of whom bradykinin was measured. One patient developed two consecutive episodes of hypersensitivity on AN69 membranes even without taking ACE inhibitors. Bradykinin levels were high in both episodes (5280 and 10467.7 fmol/ml). Furthermore, this patient showed no symptoms and normal bradykinin levels (123.4 fmol/ml) when dialyzed with other membranes. The role of the membrane type in the AR is further substantiated by the observation that AN69 also provoked a significantly higher bradykinin generation (327.6 +/- 18 fmol/ml; mean +/- SEM) during symptom-free sessions compared to other membranes like CuprophanR (5.1 +/- 7.3), HemophanR (17.2 +/- 6.3) and PolysulfoneR (39.7 +/- 6.6). Our findings strongly suggest that bradykinin is the principal mediator of AR during hemodialysis with AN69 membranes. To our knowledge it is the first time that data support the hypothesis of a more general role of bradykinin in shock-like symptoms. Furthermore, bradykinin generation must be regarded as a new marker of biocompatibility of extracorporeal treatments.