Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD).
Methods: Eighteen SLE patients who had been undergoing CAPD for at least 3 months in our unit were compared with 36 other age- and gender-matched non-diabetic CAPD patients with an underlying primary chronic glomerulonephritis (CGn). The clinical outcome, infective complications, lupus activities, biochemical parameters, haemoglobin level and the use of erythropoietin were reviewed.
Results: The duration of dialysis of the two studied groups was not different, with a mean of 35.4 months for the SLE group and 36.7 months for the CGn group. Before dialysis, SLE patients had a significantly lower albumin level (30.4+/-6.6 vs 35.4+/-5.59 g/dl, P<0.01), while the mean haemoglobin levels of the two groups were similar (8.5+/-1.8 g/dl for SLE vs 9.0+/-1.9 g/dl for the control group). However, the weekly dose of erythropoietin (EPO) used was significantly higher in the SLE group (6000 vs 3818 U/week, P<0.01) to maintain a similar haemoglobin level during dialysis. Regarding the infective complications, the SLE group had a higher peritonitis rate (5.7 episodes/100 patient-months vs 2.4 episodes/100 patient-months, P<0.05), and an increase in the non catheter related infection rate (6.67 episodes/100 patient-months vs 1.1 episodes/100 patient-months, P<0.001). However, no significant difference could be demonstrated in the Tenckhoff catheter exit site infection rate (2 episodes/100 vs 1.7 episode/100 patient-months). The number of patients who received a kidney transplant or required a change of mode to haemodialysis was similar among the two groups. Seven patients died during the follow-up period, and the overall mortality rate was much higher in the SLE group than in the control group (0.83/100 vs 0.15/100 patient-months, P<0.05).
Conclusions: SLE patients on CAPD have a significantly lower pre-dialysis serum albumin level and use a higher dose of Epo to achieve a comparable haemoglobin level than other non-diabetic CGn CAPD patients. They also have a poorer prognosis in terms of infective complications and mortality rate.