Prescribing peritoneal dialysis for high-quality care in children

Perit Dial Int. 2020 May;40(3):333-340. doi: 10.1177/0896860819893805. Epub 2020 Jan 17.


Background: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) remains the most widely used modality for chronic dialysis in children, particularly in younger children and in lower and middle income countries (LMICs). We present guidelines for dialysis initiation, modality selection, small solute clearance, and fluid removal in children on PD. A review of the literature and key studies that support these statements are presented.

Methods: An extensive Medline search for all publications on PD in children was performed using predefined search criteria.

Results: High-quality randomized trials in children are scarce and current clinical practice largely relies on data extrapolated from adult studies or drawn from observational cohort studies in children. The evidence and strength of the recommendation is GRADE-ed, but in the absence of high-quality evidence, the opinion of the authors is provided and must be carefully considered by the treating physician, and adapted to local expertise and individual patient needs as appropriate. We discuss the timing of dialysis initiation, factors to be considered when selecting a dialysis modality, the assessment and management of volume status on PD, achieving optimal small solute clearance, and the importance of preserving residual kidney function. While optimal dialysis must remain the goal for every patient, a careful discussion with fully informed patients and caregivers is important to understand the patient and family's expectations of dialysis and reasonable adjustments to the dialysis program may be considered in accordance with a philosophy of shared decision-making.

Conclusions: There continues to be very poor evidence in the field of chronic PD in children and these recommendations can at best serve to guide clinical decision-making. In LMICs, every effort should be made to conform to the framework of these statements, taking into account resource limitations.

Keywords: Peritoneal dialysis (PD); adequacy; children; fluid overload; hydration; phosphate; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Peritoneal Dialysis*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*