Antimicrobial agents and catheter-related interventions to prevent peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis: using evidence in the context of clinical practice

C Bonifati, F Pansini, D D Torres, S D. Navaneethan, J C. Craig, G F.M. Strippoli

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Background:Peritonitis still represents a common and major complication of peritoneal dialysis. The broader adoption of several strategies, including antimicrobial and catheter related interventions, has been advocated to prevent or reduce the risk of peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis.Methods:In this article we start with the presentation of a clinical case where concern exists about the strategies for preventing peritoneal dialysis peritonitis. We then look at the available evidence in the form of systematic reviews of randomized trials and individual randomized trials of interventions to prevent peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis. A summary of the evidence is provided and then put in context with the clinical case scenario.Results:Nineteen eligible trials (1949 patients) of antimicrobial agents and 37 (2822 patients) of catheter related interventions to prevent peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis were identified. Nasalmupirocin compared with placebo significantly reduced the exit-site and tunnel infection rate (1 trial,2716 patient months, RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.85) but not peritonitis rate (1 trial, 2716 patient months, RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.44 to 1.60). As for antimicrobial strategies, perioperative intravenous antibiotics compared with no treatment significantly reduced the risk of early peritonitis (4 trials, 335patients, RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.80) but not exit site and tunnel infection (3 trials, 114 patients,RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.02 to 4.81). As for catheter related strategies, Y-set and twin-bag systems were superior to conventional spike systems (7 trials, 485 patients, RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.77) and no other catheter-related intervention was demonstrated to prevent peritonitis in PD.Conclusions:Evidence exists to support the use of perioperative intravenous antibiotic prophylaxis at the time of catheter placement, the twin-bag and Y-set system, as well as prophylaxis with mupirocinin Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriers. Despite lack of evidence, several other agents are used and recommended in major international guidelines, which is reasonable but requires further investigation. (Int J Artif Organs 2006; 29: 41-9
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • peritoneal dialysis
  • Peritonitis
  • randomised trial


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