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Adv Ren Replace Ther. 2000 Oct;7(4):289-301.

Long-term peritoneal membrane changes.

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Institute of Nephrology, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, Heath Park, Wales.


There is increasing evidence that long-term peritoneal dialysis (PD) is associated with structural changes in the peritoneal membrane. These consist of thickening of the sub-mesothelial space owing to collagen deposition and alterations in small blood vessel morphology. These alterations become more pronounced with duration of PD therapy. These changes are associated with a tendency to increasing small solute transport rate with reduced ultrafiltration. The relationship between these structural and functional changes remains unknown, but the evidence suggests that both peritonitis and exposure to dialysate contribute. The most likely components of the fluid responsible for this effect are glucose and/or its degradation products generated during heat sterilisation. Serial monitoring of peritoneal function is well established, but repeat biopsies are not practical. Effluent markers are not yet of proven value but do alter in response to a change in dialysate composition. Hopefully, a combination of reduced inflammation and more biocompatible fluids will reduce long-term changes in peritoneal membrane structure and function with a consequent improvement in patient and technique survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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