The concerns about reproducibility and validity of animal studies are partly related to poor experimental design and reporting. Here, we undertook a scoping review of the literature to determine the extent and quality of reporting of animal studies on peritoneal dialysis (PD). Online databases were searched to identify 567 relevant original articles published between 1979 and 2018. These were analyzed with respect to bibliographic parameters and general aspects of animal experimentation. A subgroup of 120 studies was analyzed in detail in terms of the impact on the reporting quality of the Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines for animal studies. The number of animal studies on PD increased continuously over the years with a thematic shift toward long-term preservation of the peritoneum as a dialyzing organ. There were significant deficiencies in research design with the lack of sample size estimation, randomization, and blinding being the commonest shortcomings. The description of animal numbers, housing conditions, use of medication, and statistical analysis was incomplete. The introduction in 2010 of the ARRIVE guidelines produced very little improvement in the completeness of reporting regardless of journal impact factor. The animal studies on PD suffer from deficits in experimental protocols and transparent reporting. These drawbacks need to be corrected to ensure high-quality and much-needed animal research in PD.
Keywords: ARRIVE guidelines; Animal experiments; experimental reproducibility; peritoneal dialysis; peritoneum.