Morbidity and mortality in redefining adequacy of peritoneal dialysis: a step beyond the National Kidney Foundation Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative

Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Apr;33(4):617-32. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(99)70212-x.


The National Kidney Foundation Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF-DOQI) Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Adequacy Work Group intentionally limited the scope of its work to address adequacy in terms of small-solute removal. This decision was based on the need for rigorous evidence and that mortality is the most objective parameter in the literature. This review attempts to more broadly redefine the concept of the adequacy of PD, particularly as it relates to the most common general medical problems that PD patients experience; namely, cardiovascular disease and malnutrition. Whereas we are sensitive to the developmental process of the NKF-DOQI, we are critical that the definition of adequacy may be too narrow, leading clinicians to overlook other important morbidities. We have reiterated the evidence that suggests a weekly solute clearance (Kt/Vurea) of 1.7 or greater is associated with better patient survival. The arguments to target a greater Kt/Vurea of 2.0 are challenged, yet the concept is ultimately supported. Because cardiovascular disease is the cause of death in half of all patients with end-stage renal disease, dialysis adequacy must be defined, in part, by the potential of that therapy to diminish cardiovascular maladies. Blood pressure, volume, left ventricular hypertrophy, and dyslipidemias are discussed in this context. Lastly, assumptions that increasing total solute clearance leads to improved nutrition in PD patients are challenged. We have attempted to expand on what the NKF-DOQI did not include, and we urge the dialysis community to seek the answers to the many controversies that remain. We need to redefine the adequacy of PD in a holistic manner and find outcome parameters that are not as final as death.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Nutritional Status
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / mortality
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome