In the last 3 years we performed 52 peritoneal biopsies (PB) in 31 patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Samples of the parietal peritoneum were obtained either during insertion of the catheter or while it was being repositioned or removed. PB was performed in 13 patients before initiating CAPD and in 27 after 7-49 months of CAPD while 7 had PB during peritonitis, and, again, in 5 of these cases, PB was repeated after 1-4 months for light, electron transmission, and scanning electron microscopy. BP after CAPD showed that mesothelial cells were irregularly spaced, and at times we observed alterations in the cellular structure. Rarely were these cells degenerating, while rarefaction and in many cases complete absence of microvilli were observed. In some cases the submesothelial layers showed rarefaction of the connective tissue and sclerosis. During peritonitis, PB showed more alterations with marked degeneration and in some cases necrosis of the mesothelium and alterations of connective tissue. PB performed some months after peritonitis showed only a partial regression of these alterations and sclerotic patches, and no microvilli were noted in the mesothelium.