Proportional integral feedback control of ultrafiltration rate in hemodialysis
Background: Most hemodialysis patients without residual kidney function accumulate fluid between dialysis session that needs to be removed by ultrafiltration. Ultrafiltration usually results in a decline in relative blood volume (RBV). Recent epidemiological research has identified RBV ranges that were associated with significantly better survival. The objective of this work was to develop an ultrafiltration controller to steer a patient's RBV trajectory into these favorable RBV ranges.
Methods: We designed a proportional-integral feedback ultrafiltration controller that utilizes signals from a device that reports RBV. The control goal is to attain the RBV trajectory associated with improved patient survival. Additional constraints such as upper and lower bounds of ultrafiltration volume and rate were realized. The controller was evaluated in in silico and ex vivo bench experiments, and in a clinical proof-of-concept study in two maintenance dialysis patients.
Results: In all tests, the ultrafiltration controller performed as expected. In the in silico and ex vivo bench experiments, the controller showed robust reaction toward deliberate disruptive interventions (e.g. signal noise; extreme plasma refill rates). No adverse events were observed in the clinical study.
Conclusions: The ultrafiltration controller can steer RBV trajectories toward desired RBV ranges while obeying to a set of constraints. Prospective studies in hemodialysis patients with diverse clinical characteristics are warranted to further explore the controllers impact on intradialytic hemodynamic stability, quality of life, and long-term outcomes.
Keywords: Automated feedback system; artificial kidney; closed-loop controller; hemodialysis; relative blood volume; ultrafiltration rate feedback control.
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