Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) is an international organization whose mission is to improve the care and outcomes of kidney disease patients worldwide by promoting coordination, collaboration, and integration of initiatives to develop and implement clinical practice guidelines. Periodically, KDIGO sponsors conferences on topics of importance to patients with kidney disease. These conferences are designed to review the state of the art on a focused subject, and to ask conference participants to determine what needs to be done in this area to improve patient care and outcomes. Sometimes the recommendations from these conferences lead to KDIGO guideline efforts, but other times they highlight needed areas for additional research to produce evidence that might lead to guidelines in the future.

The recent interest in novel techniques and innovation in blood purification was born out of the impasse in an effort to improve survival and quality of life of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Although there have been medical and technical advances, mortality rate of patients with ESRD remains inappropriately elevated at about 10 – 20% per year. There have been a number of recent clinical trials and technical advances that suggest potential solutions to improve outcomes in dialysis.

To further elucidate these potential improvements in dialysis, KDIGO sponsored a conference on “Novel techniques and innovation in blood purification: How can we improve clinical outcomes in hemodialysis?” The conference was held on 14-15 October, 2011 in Paris, France. Drs. Christopher Chan, Nathan Levin and Francesco Locatelli co-chaired the conference, which focused on three themes: (1) dialysis technique, (2) dialysate composition and (3) technical innovation in blood purification and bio-engineering. Invited participants and speakers included the leading worldwide experts in these topic areas, including nephrologists, bio-engineers, and industry representatives to give the broadest views possible on the subject. Their task was to summarize the existing knowledge, develop recommendations on what can be done to optimize outcomes in dialysis patients based on this knowledge, and to formulate and prioritize research questions to enhance our knowledge base on renal replacement therapy. The conference output includes publication of a position statement.

Plenary session presentations