Continuous arteriovenous hemofiltration (CAVH) is an extracorporeal process in which fluid, electrolytes, small and medium-sized molecules (molecular weight less than 50 000) are removed from the patient by ultrafiltration over an extended period (hours or days). Simultaneously, the blood volume is reconstituted by the administration of a fluid with an electrolyte composition similar to that of normal plasma. A small filter with a membrane highly permeable to water is used in this procedure. The patient’s arterial-to-venous pressure gradient is usually sufficient to move the blood through the extracorporeal circuit.
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