Issue: 2017 > June > review

The truth on current peritoneal dialysis: state of the art

R.T. Krediet, A.C. Abrahams, C.W.H. de Fijter, M.G.H. Betjes, W.H. Boer, B.C. van Jaarsveld, C.J.A.M. Konings, F.W. Dekker
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The share of peritoneal dialysis (PD) in the spectrum of chronic dialysis has decreased markedly in the Netherlands in the last 15 years. Consequently, the knowledge of nephrologists and nursing staff on PD has declined leading to a negative spiral in which loss of experience resulted in loss of enthusiasm to offer PD to patients and also in less interest in the new PD developments. All these changes took place while the results of PD improved and patient survival was at least similar to that on haemodialysis. The aim of this review is first to give a summary of the principles and practice of patient and staff education and to describe the role of the medical contribution in decision-making. On this basis, the second aim is to update internist-nephrologists on a number of issues that have been underexposed in the past. Recent patient and technique survival data of PD patients is reviewed, and also the new insights into dialysis adequacy. The presence of residual renal function is the main determinant of patient survival together with prevention of overhydration. Urea and creatinine removal are not important at all when patients are still passing urine. Many early problems with PD are due to the peritoneal catheter and suggestions are made for improvement of its function. The prevention and management of infections is reviewed, and also the regular assessment of peritoneal function. Free water transport is a predictor of encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS), which should be assessed regularly. The pathogenesis of EPS, treatment and the decreasing incidence are discussed.