Background and aim: Metabolic acidosis is common in patients with chronic kidney disease and is associated with increased mortality in hemodialysis patients. However, this relationship has not yet been determined in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients.
Methods: This prospective observational study included a total of 441 incident patients who started PD between January 2000 and December 2005. Using time-averaged serum bicarbonate (TA-Bic) levels, we aimed to investigate whether a low serum bicarbonate concentration can predict mortality in these patients.
Results: Among the baseline parameters, serum bicarbonate level was positively associated with hemoglobin level and residual glomerular filtration rate (GFR), while it was negatively associated with albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, peritoneal Kt/V urea, and normalized protein catabolic rate (nPCR) in a multivariable linear regression analysis. During a median follow-up of 34.8 months, 149 deaths were recorded. After adjustment for age, diabetes, coronary artery disease, serum albumin, ferritin, CRP, residual GFR, peritoneal Kt/V urea, nPCR, and percentage of lean body mass, TA-Bic level was associated with a significantly decreased risk of mortality (HR per 1 mEq/L increase, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.76-0.91; p < 0.001). In addition, compared to patients with a TA-Bic level of 24-26 mEq/L, those with a TA-Bic level < 22 and between 22-24 mEq/L conferred a 13.10- and 2.13-fold increased risk of death, respectively.
Conclusions: This study showed that a low serum bicarbonate concentration is an independent risk factor for mortality in PD patients. This relationship between low bicarbonate levels and adverse outcome could be related to enhanced inflammation and a more rapid loss of RRF associated with metabolic acidosis. Large randomized clinical trials to correct acidosis are warranted to confirm our findings.