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This extensive review describes the settings for continuous arteriovenous hemofiltration (CAVH) and attempts to compare it to traditional dialysis therapies for acute renal failure. In addition hemodynamic stability, membrane biocompatibility, nutrition, fluid and solute removal, operational characteristics, anticoagulation, replacement solutions, drug removal, complications, and trouble shooting during CAVH are all discussed in detail. The cost of CAVH v dialysis is equal. CAVH is probably the renal replacement therapy of choice for hemodynamically unstable patients with acute renal failure and contraindications to peritoneal dialysis.