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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2001 May;12(5):1046-51.

Peritoneal glucose exposure and changes in membrane solute transport with time on peritoneal dialysis.

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Department of Nephrology, North Staffordshire Hospitals Trust, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom.


Peritoneal solute transport increases with time on treatment in a proportion of peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients, contributing to ultrafiltration failure. Continuous exposure of the peritoneum to hypertonic glucose solutions results in morphologic damage that may have a causative role in changes in peritoneal function. The purpose of this analysis was to establish whether increased exposure to glucose preceded changes in solute transport in a selected group of long-term PD patients. Peritoneal solute transport, residual renal function, peritonitis rate, and peritoneal exposure to glucose were recorded prospectively in a cohort of 303 patients at a single dialysis center. A subgroup of individuals, treated continuously for 5 yr, were identified and defined retrospectively as having either stable or increasing transport status. Of the 22 patients who were treated continuously for 5 yr, 13 had stable solute transport (solute transport at start, 0.67 [+/-0.1]; at 5 yr, 0.67 [+/-0.1]), whereas 9 had a sustained increase (solute transport at start, 0.56 [+/-0.08]; at 5 yr, 0.77 [+/-0.09]). Compared with the stable patients, those with increasing transport had earlier loss in residual renal function and were exposed to significantly more hypertonic glucose during the first 2 yr of treatment that preceded the increase in solute transport. This was associated with greater achieved ultrafiltration compensating for the reduced urinary volumes in these patients. Further increases in glucose exposure were observed as solute transport continued to rise. Peritonitis, including severity of infection and causative organism, was similar in both groups. In this selected group of long-term survivors on PD, an increase in solute transport with time was preceded by increased peritoneal exposure to hypertonic glucose. This is supportive evidence that hypertonic glucose may play a causative role in alterations in peritoneal membrane function.

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