Technical innovations in peritoneal dialysis (PD), now used widely for the long-term treatment of ESRD, have significantly reduced therapy-related complications, allowing patients to be maintained on PD for longer periods. Indeed, the survival rate for patients treated with PD is now equivalent to that with in-center hemodialysis. In parallel, changes in public policy have spurred an unprecedented expansion in the use of PD in many parts of the world. Meanwhile, our improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in solute and water transport across the peritoneum and of the pathobiology of structural and functional changes in the peritoneum with long-term PD has provided new targets for improving efficiency and for intervention. As with hemodialysis, almost half of all deaths on PD occur because of cardiovascular events, and there is great interest in identifying modality-specific factors contributing to these events. Notably, tremendous progress has been made in developing interventions that substantially reduce the risk of PD-related peritonitis. Yet the gains have been unequal among individual centers, primarily because of unequal clinical application of knowledge gained from research. The work to date has further highlighted the areas in need of innovation as we continue to strive to improve the health and outcomes of patients treated with PD.
Keywords: Life-threatening dialysis complications; cardiovascular disease; end-stage renal disease; peritoneal dialysis; peritoneal membrane.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.