Timely initiation of dialysis—single-exchange experience in 39 patients starting peritoneal dialysis

Lukas Foggensteiner, Julia Baylis, Heather Moss, Paul Williams
Peritoneal Dialysis International 2002, 22 (4): 471-6

OBJECTIVE: To establish the effectiveness and patient acceptability of initiating peritoneal dialysis (PD) according to published guidelines.

SETTING: A university teaching hospital and a neighboring district general hospital.

DESIGN: Nonrandomized prospective pilot study.

PATIENTS: 39 patients with a Kt/V > 2.0 attending predialysis clinics at both hospitals agreed to participate in this study.

METHODS: Patients were started on a single exchange of dialysate overnight. Dialysis adequacy was monitored at least every 2 months and incremental increases in dialysis were used to maintain combined urinary and dialysis Kt/V above 2.0. Routine laboratory parameters and complications of dialysis were monitored during the follow-up period.

RESULTS: The mean weekly Kt/V at initiation of dialysis was 2.09. Median actuarial survival on a single exchange before requiring incremental dialysis was 297 days. At the end of the study period, all patients were still alive: 8 remained on 1 exchange, 18 were on more than 1 exchange, 8 had switched to hemodialysis, and 5 had received renal transplants. During the 12,665 patient-days on single-exchange dialysis, there were 14 hospital admissions of 12 patients. This resulted in a mean of 1.64 hospital days per patient-year for the whole group. During the follow-up period there were 2 episodes of bacterial peritonitis, 3 pleural leaks, 1 patent processus vaginalis, and 1 inguinal hernia that required surgical intervention. The use single daily icodextrin exchanges was associated with a 46% incidence of culture-negative peritonitis.

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study has shown that a timely start of dialysis with a single overnight PD exchange is acceptable to patients. Incremental dialysis as residual renal function falls is easily managed and patients also find this acceptable. Complication and hospitalization rates were low. The presence of residual renal function often allows complications to be managed without the need for hemodialysis. The use of icodextrin as a single-exchange dialysate is associated with sterile peritonitis in a significant proportion of cases.

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