Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is a serious condition whose frequency is increasing the longer the duration of peritoneal dialysis. To identify prognostic indicators of EPS, we studied here longitudinal changes in peritoneal membrane function of patients who later developed this complication. We identified all patients with an unequivocal diagnosis of EPS who began their peritoneal dialysis in our unit over a 20-year period and matched each of them for dialysis duration and age with four control patients who completed their dialysis. The dialysate/plasma creatinine ratio increased with time in both groups but was significantly higher in the patients with EPS only at the time their dialysis was discontinued. The ultrafiltration capacity was significantly worse for at least 2 years before stopping dialysis, diverging further at the time dialysis ceased, suggesting reduced osmotic conductance in the EPS patients. Both the glucose exposure rate for the 5 years preceding stoppage of dialysis and exposure to the osmotic agent icodextrin were significantly higher. Residual renal function was less in the EPS group, but there was no significant difference in the rates of peritonitis compared to the control group. The 24 h peritoneal protein clearance was not significantly different in EPS patients, possibly due to a greater fibrous matrix. Thus, our study shows that regular peritoneal membrane function tests can identify most patients at high risk of developing EPS before its occurrence.