A clear relationship between dialysis dose and outcome in chronic hemodialysis patients has been demonstrated. Recent data suggest renal replacement therapy (RRT) dose or intensity may affect outcome in critically ill acute renal failure (ARF) patients also. This review addresses the factors influencing small solute removal by extracorporeal RRTs in ARF. Methods to quantify and compare small solute removal by intermittent and continuous therapies in ARF are also presented. Finally, studies demonstrating a link between therapy intensity and outcome are assessed. To improve the management of critically ill ARF patients, the effect of delivered RRT dose on ARF outcome requires additional analysis.
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