The efficacy of peritoneal transport was assessed in 13 permeability studies in 11 continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients. During each study the in situ intraperitoneal volume was measured as well as the dialysate and plasma concentrations of various solutes with a molecular weight range from 60 to 5,500. As clearance estimations are unsuitable for the purpose of permeability studies, mass transfer area coefficients were used. By applying a simple mathematical model assuming first-order kinetics, these coefficients were calculated for urea, lactate, creatinine, glucose, kanamycin, and inulin. The accuracy of the calculations is indicated by their r values. After pooling these correlation coefficients, the mean approached 1.00 for all solutes with high confidence limits, indicating the usefulness of the model. A further simplification was tested using only an initial- and end-dialysate sample and two blood samples, without the measurement of the in situ intraperitoneal volume. Except for inulin the results of this simplification correlated well with the results described above. The reproducibility of the simplified mass transfer area coefficient calculations was investigated on 15 occasions in 3 other CAPD patients. The coefficients of variation of low molecular weight solutes varied between 15 and 20%. It is concluded that mass transfer area coefficient estimations using the latter method can be performed in any CAPD patient and probably yield sufficient information to establish the efficacy of the membrane transport mechanism during clinical follow-up.