Infectious complications in dialysis--epidemiology and outcomes

Nat Rev Nephrol. 2011 Dec 20;8(2):77-88. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2011.194.


This Review focuses on the changing epidemiology of infections among patients with end-stage renal disease who are undergoing dialysis. In particular, bloodstream infections related to vascular access in patients undergoing hemodialysis, and peritonitis in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis, are highlighted. Gram-positive (staphylococcal and enterococcal) bloodstream infections and Gram-negative peritonitis (especially extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing organisms) contribute substantially to excess health-care use owing to infection caused by dialysis access. Although the management of peritoneal-dialysis-related peritonitis has been hampered by a dearth of randomized, controlled studies, epidemiological data have provided useful information. To overcome the problem of differing methods used to monitor infections within various dialysis centers, uniform reporting systems for vascular-access-related infection and peritoneal-dialysis-related peritonitis, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis, respectively, are discussed. Infections unrelated to the port of entry for dialysis are also examined, namely hepatitis and respiratory infection. To address the disease burden, we examine the infection-related mortality as well as the implications for subsequent cardiovascular mortality.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology*
  • Catheter-Related Infections / etiology
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Risk Factors