Assessing the validity of an abdominal CT scoring system in the diagnosis of encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Nov;3(6):1702-10. doi: 10.2215/CJN.01820408. Epub 2008 Jul 30.


Background and objectives: Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is a severe peritoneal fibrotic reaction in patients on long-term peritoneal dialysis (PD). The early clinical features may be nonspecific. The purpose of the study is to assess the reliability and diagnostic utility of abdominal CT scanning in the diagnosis of EPS.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Abdominopelvic CT scans of 27 patients diagnosed with EPS on clinical and radiologic grounds in our unit from 1997 to 2006 were retrospectively analyzed. In addition, 35 control CT scans were scored: 15 from hemodialysis patients (HD controls) and 20 from patients on PD (PD controls). Scans were anonymized and scored independently by three radiologists.

Results: Inter-rater agreement was moderate to very good (kappa = 0.40 to 0.75) for peritoneal calcification, bowel distribution, bowel wall thickening, and bowel dilation but poorer for loculation of ascites and peritoneal thickening. There was a strongly significant difference between the total CT scan scores at EPS diagnosis and controls (P < 0.00001). Each individual parameter also showed significant differences between EPS and controls (P < 0.006). Bowel tethering and peritoneal calcification were the most specific parameters, and. loculation was the least discriminatory parameter. Interestingly, prediagnostic scans a median of 1.5 yr before EPS diagnosis were normal or near-normal in 9 of 13 EPS patients.

Conclusions: CT scanning is a valid and reliable adjunct to the diagnosis of EPS but may not be useful as a screening tool, as the prediagnostic scans did not show abnormalities in many patients who subsequently developed EPS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Peritoneal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Peritoneal Diseases / etiology
  • Peritoneum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sclerosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Young Adult