Background: Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is a severe complication of peritoneal dialysis (PD). The first aim was to analyse the risk of EPS in patients who had developed ultrafiltration failure (UFF). The second aim was to identify specific peritoneal transport alterations that distinguish patients with UFF from patients who will develop EPS.
Methods: All patients of this study were treated with PD between July 1995 and December 2008 in the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Risk analysis: all PD patients who developed UFF after at least 2 years of PD. Peritoneal transport analysis: all patients who had PD for at least 55 months were included: 12 EPS patients, 21 patients with UFF and 26 patients with normal ultrafiltration (UF). The peritoneal function was measured yearly with a standard peritoneal permeability analysis. UFF was defined as net UF < 400 mL after a 4-h dwell with a 3.86% dialysis solution.
Results: Risk analysis: Of the 48 UFF patients, 10 eventually developed EPS. Fifty percent of the patients who continued PD for more than 3 years after the establishment of UFF developed EPS. Peritoneal function analysis: No differences were present for the time courses of solute transport and fluid transport between the EPS and the UFF groups. Overall, the EPS and normal UF groups had lower values for the effective lymphatic absorption rate (ELAR) than the UFF group.
Conclusions: The risk of EPS increases with continuation of PD while UFF is present. Transport characteristics are similar between EPS patients and UFF patients without this complication. A constantly low ELAR may distinguish the EPS patients from those with UFF only.