Background: The recent ADEMEX study (Paniagua R, Amato D, Vonesh E et al. J Am Soc Nephrol 2002; 13: 1307-1320) indicates that peritoneal small solute clearance is not as critical for the survival of peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients as thought previously. On the other hand, low residual renal function (RRF), inflammation and an increased peritoneal transport rate (PTR) as evaluated by the peritoneal equilibration test (PET) are reported to be associated with increased mortality in PD patients, but the relationships between these factors and their separate and combined impact on the survival of PD patients are not clear. In this retrospective analysis, we evaluated possible relationships between RRF, inflammation and initial PTR in patients starting PD and the impact of these factors on patient survival.
Methods: A total of 117 patients with initial assessments for RRF, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and PET at a mean period of 0.4+/-0.2 months (range 0.1-1.0 months) after start of PD were included in this study. Based on RRF (cut-off point, 4 ml/min/1.73 m(2)), serum CRP (cut-off point, 10 mg/l), and the dialysate to plasma creatinine ratio at 4-h of dwell (mean+1 SD), the patients were divided into different groups: low RRF and high RRF group, high CRP and normal CRP group and high PTR and other PTR group, respectively.
Results: Of 117 patients, 54 patients (46%) were in low RRF (<4 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) group, 36 patients (31%) were in high serum CRP (> or = 10 mg/l) group and 17 patients (15%) were in high PTR group. Forty-nine patients (42%) had one of these characteristics, 26 patients (22%) had two of these characteristics, two patients (2%) had three, and 40 patients (34%) had none of these characteristics. Patients with low RRF were older and had a higher prevalence of high CRP, lower normalized protein equivalent of total nitrogen appearance (nPNA), lower total Kt/V(urea) and lower total creatinine clearance (CCr) whereas patients with high CRP were older and had a higher proportion of men, lower serum albumin, lower nPNA, lower RRF and lower total CCr. Patients with high PTR had lower serum albumin, higher RRF and higher total CCr compared with patients with other PTR. Upon logistic multiple regression analysis, age and RRF were identified as factors affecting inflammation. Overall patient survival was significantly lower in the patients with low RRF, with high CRP, and in patients with more than two of the following: low RRF, high CRP and high PTR. In contrast, in patients with none of the discriminators low RRF, high CRP and high PTR, the 5-year survival was 100%. A high PTR was associated with decreased survival during the initial year on PD, but not thereafter. Patients who died during the follow-up period had a higher prevalence of high CRP and lower serum albumin, lower RRF, lower Kt/V(urea) and lower total CCr. Upon Cox proportional hazards multivariate analysis, age and RRF were predictors of mortality.
Conclusions: These results indicate that in patients starting PD, low initial RRF is associated with inflammation, and low RRF and inflammation are both associated with high overall mortality. A high PTR was associated with higher mortality, but only during the initial year on PD, whereas Kt/V(urea) did not predict mortality. These results indicate the importance of RRF and inflammation as predictors of mortality in PD patients whereas the predictive power of PTR as such may lose its significance if these two parameters are taken into consideration.