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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1995;10(2):258-62.

Alkalosis and hypomagnesaemia: unwanted effects of a low-calcium CAPD solution.

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Renal Unit, Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK.


We studied 43 CAPD patients for 4 months during the change from a high-calcium dialysis fluid (Baxter PD1) to a low-calcium fluid (Baxter PD4), which also contained low magnesium (0.25 mmol/l) and high lactate concentrations (40 mmol/l). Serum calcium fell significantly as did the incidence of hypercalcaemia, whilst the proportion of patients taking calcium-containing phosphate binders increased. There was a non-significant increase in serum i-PTH levels but the proportion with i-PTH > 150 pg/ml (normal range 10-65 pg/ml) increased significantly. There was a significant fall in serum magnesium level and seven patients developed hypomagnesaemia. Serum bicarbonate increased significantly and progressively and 17 patients were alkalotic at 4 months, five severely (bicarbonate 35-40 mmol/l). One patient developed recurrent episodes of painful subcutaneous and periarticular calcification, which may have been related to the alkalosis. Initial serum bicarbonate levels correlated significantly with dialysis adequacy assessed by daily Kt/V (r = 0.458, P = 0.002). The relationship to adequacy was abolished during the period of use of the high-lactate dialysis fluid. Use of low-magnesium CAPD fluids must be supported by regular monitoring of serum magnesium levels. The high lactate concentration in such fluids may not be appropriate and is potentially hazardous when individualization of dialysis dose demands the use of relatively high exchange volumes. Low serum bicarbonate levels in CAPD patients reflect inadequate dialysis, which use of these fluids serves to mask.

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