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Perit Dial Int. 2013 Jan-Feb;33(1):86-91. doi: 10.3747/pdi.2010.00095.

Recommendations for fasting in Ramadan for patients on peritoneal dialysis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



The month of Ramadan holds great religious and social significance for Muslims all over the world. The aim of the present study was to provide a modified dialysis schedule for peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients that allows for fasting and that minimizes the effect on the patient's general health and volume status.


We observed 31 patients under treatment at the PD unit of King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh. During the 3 - 4 weeks before the start of Ramadan, all patients were counseled individually and in detail about the possibility of fasting. They were also provided with clear instructions about fluid intake (up to 1 L daily) and avoiding a high-potassium diet. Of the 31 patients, 18 (10 women, 8 men) elected to fast during the month of Ramadan. The mean duration of fast in the study year (2009) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was about 14 hours: from 0415 h (before sunrise) to 1800 h (after sunset). Depending on membrane type and patient preference, the fasting group was shifted to one of two regimens: Modified continuous ambulatory PD (8 patients): 3 exchanges during the night (1.36% or 2.27%), and icodextrin for a long dwell during the day. The first dialysis exchange was performed immediately after breaking the fast (1900 h), and the next at 2300 h. The final exchange was performed in the early morning before sunrise (0300 h), when the icodextrin was infused. Modified continuous cycling PD (10 patients): exchanges (1.36% or 2.27%) were performed over 6 - 7 hours, and icodextrin was infused for a long dwell during the day. The patient connected to the cycler at 2000 h or 2100 h, and therapy finished at nearly 0300 h, with icodextrin as the last fill.


Of the study patients, 2 were admitted because of peritonitis (1 in each modality group), and the modified therapy was discontinued. In the modified CCPD group, 1 patient (on PD for 1 month before Ramadan) developed PD-related pleural effusion (proved by pleural fluid analysis), and PD was consequently discontinued. Hypotension developed in 2 patients of the CAPD group and 1 of the CCPD group during the first 2 weeks. In the CCPD group, 1 patient presented with lower limb edema and mild fluid overload. Overall, PD patients that opted to fast during Ramadan did not experience any serious morbidity or deterioration in renal function during their period of observance. No biochemical parameters or clearance studies showed a statistically significant p value.


In view of the study findings, we conclude that most stable patients on PD can fast, provided that they strictly adhere to their medications and dialysis therapy in addition to the dietary restrictions. These patients should be followed closely to detect any complications and to ensure that adequate fluid and electrolyte balance are maintained.

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