Extraction and Analysis of Interstitial Fluid, and Characterisation of the Interstitial Compartment in Kidney Disease

UoM administered thesis: Unknown

  • Authors:
  • Leonard Ebah


Kidney failure results in fluid and toxin accumulation within body fluid compartments, contributing to the excess mortality seen in this condition. Such uremic toxins have been measured in plasma, with levels assumed to reflect extraplasmatic concentrations such as in interstitial fluid (ISF). ISF is separated from plasma by nanometre-order microvascular pores; toxins may not circulate "freely" between the two compartments. This work set out to characterise the ISF in uremic subjects, with the hypothesis that there may be differences with plasma. Any such difference may be clinically relevant, owing to the much larger size of the ISF compartment, its proximity to cell metabolic processes, and its expansion in renal impairment.We used a modified microdialysis technique to successfully sample subcorneal ISF of some the uremic toxins (urea, creatinine, urate, phosphate). Reverse iontophoresis (RI) was also used as a non-invasive technique to sample epidermal ISF of urea. Hollow microneedles were developed and their ability to extract ISF tested in CKD patients and controls. The mechanical properties (pressure, volume, permeability) and biochemical composition (proteomic and metabolomic profiles) of the interstitial compartment were also investigated.Microdialysis and RI performed very well as interstitial uremic toxin sampling techniques. Small differences were seen in steady states between ISF and plasma urea, creatinine, phosphate and urate, with slightly lower ISF levels. Dialysis seemed to enhance this difference, with a lag in the clearance of ISF toxins seen in some patients, most remarkable with phosphate. Metabolomic analysis identified several uremic toxins in ISF, whilst proteomics found some significant differences between the two compartments, with toxins like beta-2 microglobulin occurring in ISF only. Microneedle arrays successfully extracted ISF in 68.8% of patients with oedema. Successful extraction of ISF with microneedles occurred mainly in oedematous patients, who were found to have raised interstitial pressures (ISP) and volumes. ISP correlated significantly with body fluid volumes and seemed time-dependent, lower in more chronic oedema. ISP and volumes also correlated with the oedema depitting time (after thumb pressure), a potential novel parameter that probably relates to tissue hydraulic conductivity and hence volume status and fluid mobility within the interstitium.This study demonstrates that interstitial fluid may need to be considered as a separate active compartment in patients with renal dysfunction, with a different "uremic" composition and unique pathophysiological characteristics that cannot be explained by blood compartment based measurements alone. There is a need for more studies, to further characterise this compartment and elucidate its importance.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date31 Dec 2012