Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis: definition, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis Ad Hoc Committee on Ultrafiltration Management in Peritoneal Dialysis

Perit Dial Int. 2000:20 Suppl 4:S43-55.


Current definitions of encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis are practical and clinically relevant. It is important to adhere to a more uniform use of the proper terminology, and it is the recommendation of the authors that EPS be adopted as the more appropriate term. The best literal definition of EPS is based on clinical-pathologic criteria. Differentiation of EPS from the general category of ultrafiltration failure is required. Further, better appreciation of the diverse pathways that can lead to the same final common clinical-pathologic picture should not be overshadowed by the requirement of uniform terminology. Incidence and prevalence of the syndrome have been defined in some large populations and a few single-center experiences. The former show an incidence of less than 1%, while higher percentages are reported in the latter. The reported increased incidence with duration on therapy requires validation. The epidemiology of the syndrome offers limited insight into its pathogenesis. A list of factors, both dialysis-related and non dialysis-related. has been accumulated. Except in a few categories where agents are clearly related to the development of EPS, the majority of the listed factors for dialysis-related BPS remain, at best, associations and at worst, simple conjecture. The same limitations that plague the issue of etiology apply in the area of pathogenesis. More basic, focused work is required. The diagnosis of EPS remains based on clinical suspicion confirmed with, primarily, radiologic findings. Pathologic confirmation is obtained in cases that come to surgery for management or for catheter removal. Radiologic studies are precise enough for confirmation, but none have been evaluated for early diagnosis for possible early intervention or prevention. Studies based on transport characteristics or effluent dialysate constituents are not useful for EPS. At present, there are no reliable predictive tests for BPS that can be used in individual patients. Therapy of BPS is based on anecdotal evidence. The possible variable etiologies and probable distinct pathways leading to the syndrome may make a uniform therapeutic approach unlikely. Further, the limited number of cases and the sporadic pattern of occurrences make therapeutic trials not readily feasible. This is distinct from the case of ultrafiltration failure, where significant advances in mechanism elucidation and rationale-based interventions have been made.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Peritoneum / pathology*
  • Peritonitis / diagnosis
  • Peritonitis / etiology
  • Peritonitis / therapy
  • Sclerosis