Correction of acidosis in CAPD decreases protein degradation and synthesis but has no effect on leucine oxidation. The effect of the correction of metabolic acidosis in CRF patients treated with CAPD was determined from the kinetics of infused L-[1-13C]leucine. Seven CAPD patients were studied before (acid) and after correction of acidosis (bicarbonate) (pH:acid 7.39 +/- 0.01, bicarbonate 7.41 +/- 0.01, P = 0.005). Leucine appearance from body protein (PD) [corrected] and leucine disappearance into body protein (PS) [corrected] decreased significantly with correction of acidosis. (PS: acid 211.7 +/- 9.8, bicarbonate 142.3 +/- 4.2 micromol x kg-1 x hr-1, P < 0.001; PD: acid 200.6 +/- 8.5, bicarbonate 132.4 +/- 3.7 micromol x kg-1 x hr-1, P < 0.001). There was no significant change in leucine oxidation or plasma amino acid concentrations. These results demonstrate that optimal correction of acidosis in CAPD is beneficial in terms of protein turnover.