Background: A variety of factors can adversely impact chronic peritoneal dialysis (CPD) as an effective renal replacement therapy for patients with end-stage renal disease. These factors include peritonitis, poor clearances, loss of ultrafiltration, and a variety of anatomic problems, such as hernias, peritoneal fluid leaks, loculations, and catheter-related problems caused by omental blockage. This study reviews our experience with peritoneal scintigraphy for the evaluation of some of these difficulties.
Methods: From 1991 to 1996, 50 peritoneal scintigraphy scans were obtained in 48 CPD patients. Indications for scintigraphy were evaluated, and the patients were placed into four groups: group I, abdominal wall swelling; group II, inguinal or genital swelling; group III, pleural fluid; and group IV, poor drainage and/or poor ultrafiltration. A peritoneal scintigraphy protocol was established and the radiotracer isotope that was used was 2.0 mCi of 99mtechnetium sulfur colloid placed in two liters of 2.5% dextrose peritoneal dialysis solution.
Results: Ten scans were obtained to study abdominal wall swelling, with seven scans demonstrating leaks; six of these episodes improved with low-volume exchanges. Twenty scans were obtained to evaluate inguinal or genital swelling, and 10 of these had scintigraphic evidence for an inguinal hernia leak (9 of these were surgically corrected). One of four scans obtained to evaluate a pleural fluid collection demonstrated a peritoneal-pleural leak that corrected with a temporary discontinuation of CPD. Sixteen scans were obtained to assess poor drainage and/or ultrafiltration. Five of these scans demonstrated peritoneal location, and all of these patients required transfer to hemodialysis. The other 11 scans were normal; four patients underwent omentectomies, allowing three patients to continue with CPD.
Conclusion: Peritoneal scintigraphy is useful in the evaluation and assessment of CPD patients who develop anatomical problems (such as anterior abdominal, pleural-peritoneal, inguinal, and genital leaks) and problems with ultrafiltration and/or drainage.