[Development of peritoneal dialysis at Rijeka Clinical Hospital Center]

Stela Zivcić-Cosić, Ana Vlahović, Mirjana Grzetić, Durdica Matić-Glazar
Acta Medica Croatica: C̆asopis Hravatske Akademije Medicinskih Znanosti 2004, 58 (3): 215-20
The dialysis population is steadily rising as a consequence of the growing incidence of terminal renal failure patients and lack of organs for transplantation. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) has become an established form of renal replacement therapy. The development of new methods, techniques, PD fluids and catheters has significantly lowered the incidence of complications and increased the use of PD throughout the world. The development of PD at Rijeka University Hospital Center, the incidence of PD patients, their underlying renal disease leading to terminal renal failure, demographic characteristics of patients, complications of treatment, and causes of discontinuation of PD treatment are described. At Rijeka University Hospital Center, PD was introduced in 1963 in patients with acute renal failure (ARF), and in 1965 in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF). Until June 2002, 149 patients were treated, 71 with ARF and 78 with CRF. Continuous peritoneal dialysis was introduced at our hospital in 1978. An increasing number of patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), altogether 35, was noticed in 1999. Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) was introduced in January 2001. Five patients were treated with this method until June 2002. The most common underlying renal diseases in patients treated from January 1999 until June 2002 were diabetic nephropathy in 13 (37.1%) and glomerulonephritis in 11 (31.4%) patients, mean age 55.5 years, range 31-75 years, both sexes equally present. The leading cause of complications were infections and the main cause of death was cardiovascular disease. Five (14.3%) patients received kidney transplants which have been functioning well in all of them. Because of the high incidence of complications during the seventies, intermittent peritoneal dialysis (IPD) was used only occasionally. A significant increase in the number of patients on CAPD was observed in 1999. By the end of 2001 almost ten percent of patients receiving dialytic treatment were on CAPD. The most common complications were peritoneal catheter exit site infection and peritonitis, which caused referral to HD treatment in four (11.4%) and death in two (5.7%) patients with impossible vascular access. The knowledge and availability of different renal replacement therapies allow the choice and application of the most appropriate treatment option in individual patients with terminal renal failure. In comparison to HD, PD improves the quality of patient's life and decreases mortality in the first years of treatment. Patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, whose incidence is steadily rising, have a higher incidence of complications on hemodialysis treatment. In these patients PD is preferred, especially if used as the first dialytic treatment modality. PD has also provided a means of managing patients with no possibility for vascular access for HD treatment. Infective and mechanical complications are the main obstacles during PD treatment. Adequate facilities, equipment, educated and well-trained medical personnel and appropriate selection and thorough education of patients are necessary for a successful PD program.

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