Fluid balance modelling in patients with kidney failure.
ABSTRACT In patients with kidney failure, adequate control of fluid status remains one of the most difficult routine issues to be addressed in the modern style of dialysis. This is primarily due to the lack of quantitative methods for the assessment of fluid status and the reliance on subjective criteria. Fluid is removed from the blood during dialysis treatments using a process called ultrafiltration. The last decade has seen considerable developments in blood volume monitoring (BVM) technology which has enabled responses to ultrafiltration to be continually monitored on an individual basis. This has enabled feedback control of patients' blood volume to be applied with partial success, reducing the number of symptoms. The feedback control algorithms employed have been relatively unsophisticated, using simple proportional control with no attempt to include models of the patient fluid dynamics. This paper describes the development of some prototype fluid kinetic models which may be used in a more advanced control system. Initial results demonstrate the importance of active control processes in the patients' physiological compensatory mechanisms.