Visions in a Crystal Ball: The Future of Peritoneal Dialysis

Blood Purif. 2018;45(1-3):218-223. doi: 10.1159/000485158. Epub 2018 Jan 26.


Background: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is one of the corner stones of renal replacement therapy and should be strongly considered if preemptive kidney transplantation is not available.

Summary: There are several initiatives that may help the growth in the use of PD around the world. First, PD is an underused and valuable option in patients with heart failure and the chronic cardiorenal syndrome, especially in those with frequent hospitalizations despite optimal medical therapy. To identify these patients, an interdisciplinary approach of nephrologists and cardiologists is needed. These patients and other CKD patients with significant residual kidney function may do well with a regimen employing fewer than the usual number of bag exchanges, referred to as "incremental" dialysis. Second, acute kidney injury (AKI) is a worldwide burden with high morbidity and mortality, especially in low income countries. To reach the goal of zero preventable deaths caused by AKI by 2025 endorsed by the International Society of Nephrology, PD is the therapy of choice for treatment in this setting. Third, although dextrose has served well as the osmotic agent in PD solutions, there has been a continuous search for alternative agents. Hyperbranched polyglycerol might be such an osmole. Finally, to obviate the need for production and delivery of bags of PD solution, the development of home-generated dialysate is of interest. Key Message: The future of PD lies not only in accruing experience from the past decades, but also in staying open to other uses.

Keywords: Cardiorenal syndrome; Future of peritoneal dialysis; Home generation of peritoneal dialysis solutions; Hyperbranched polyglycerol; Incremental peritoneal dialysis; Peritoneal dialysis in acute kidney injury; Wearable medical devices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / economics
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / mortality
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Cardio-Renal Syndrome / therapy*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / economics
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / methods*