Background The longevity of peritoneal dialysis (PD) is limited by high rates of technique failure, some of which stem from peritoneal membrane injury. 'Biocompatible' PD solutions have been developed to reduce damage to the peritoneal membrane. Objectives This review aimed to look at the benefits and harms of biocompatible PD solutions in comparison to standard PD solutions in patients receiving PD. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Renal Group's Specialised Register (28 February 2013), through contact with the Trials Search Co-ordinator using search terms relevant to this review. Studies contained in the Specialised Register are identified through search strategies specifically designed for CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE, and handsearching conference proceedings. Selection criteria All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs in adults and children comparing the effects of biocompatible PD solutions (neutral pH, lactate-buffered, low glucose degradation product (GDP); neutral pH, bicarbonate (± lactate)-buffered, low GDP; glucose polymer (icodextrin)) in PD were included. Studies of amino acid-based PD solutions were excluded. Data collection and analysis Two authors extracted data on study quality and outcomes (including adverse effects). The authors contacted investigators to obtain missing information. Summary estimates of effect were obtained using a random-effects model, and results were expressed as risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for categorical variables, and mean difference (MD) or standardised mean difference (SMD) and 95% CI for continuous variables. Main results Thirty-six eligible studies (2719 patients) were identified: Neutral pH, lactate-buffered/bicarbonate (± lactate)-buffered, low GDP PD solution (24); icodextrin (12). Allocation methods and concealment were generally incompletely reported, and adequate in only ten studies (27.8%). Patients lost to follow-up ranged from 0% to 83.4%. Neutral pH, low GDP versus conventional glucose PD solution Based on generally sub-optimal quality evidence, the use of neutral pH, low GDP PDsolutions was associated with larger urine volumes at the end of the studies, up to three years of therapy duration (7 studies, 520 patients: MD 126.39 mL/d, 95% CI 26.73 to 226.05). Improved preservation of residual renal function was evident in studies with greater than 12 month follow-up (6 studies, 360 patients: SMD 0.31, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.52). There was no significant effect on peritonitis, technique failure or adverse events with the use of neutral pH, low GDP PD solutions. Glucose polymer (icodextrin) versus conventional glucose PD solution There was a significant reduction in episodes of uncontrolled fluid overload (2 studies, 100 patients: RR 0.30, 95%CI 0.15 to 0.59) and improvement in peritoneal ultrafiltration (4 studies, 102 patients, MD448.54mL/d, 95%CI 289.28 to 607.80) without compromising residual renal function (4 studies, 114 patients: SMD 0.12, 95% CI -0.26 to 0.49) or urine output (3 studies, 69 patients: MD -88.88 mL/d, 95% CI -356.88 to 179.12) with icodextrin use. A comparable incidence of adverse events with the icodextrin (four studies) was reported. Authors' conclusions Based on generally sub-optimal quality studies, use of neutral pH, low GDP PDsolution led to greater urine output and higher residual renal function after use exceeded 12 months. Icodextrin prescription improved peritoneal ultrafiltration and mitigated uncontrolled fluid overload. There were no significant effects on peritonitis, technique survival, patient survival or harms identified with their use. Based on the best available evidence, the use of these 'biocompatible' PD solutions resulted in clinically relevant benefits without added risks of harm.