Treatment of Peritoneal Dialysis-Associated Peritonitis: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Kathryn Joan Wiggins, David W. Johnson, Jonathan C. Craig, Giovanni F.M. Strippoli

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40 Citations (Scopus)



Peritonitis frequently complicates peritoneal dialysis. Appropriate treatment is essential to reduce adverse outcomes. Available trial evidence about peritoneal dialysis peritonitis treatment was evaluated.
Selection Criteria for Studies

The Cochrane CENTRAL Registry (2005 issue), MEDLINE (1966 to February 2006), EMBASE (1985 to February 2006), and reference lists were searched to identify randomized trials of treatments for patients with peritoneal dialysis peritonitis.

Trials of antibiotics (comparisons of routes, agents, and dosing regimens), fibrinolytic agents, peritoneal lavage, and intraperitoneal immunoglobulin.

Treatment failure, relapse, catheter removal, microbiological eradication, hospitalization, all-cause mortality, and adverse reactions.

36 eligible trials were identified: 30 trials (1,800 patients) of antibiotics; 4 trials (229 patients) of urokinase; 1 trial of peritoneal lavage (36 patients); and 1 trial of intraperitoneal immunoglobulin (24 patients). No superior antimicrobial class was identified. In particular, glycopeptides and first-generation cephalosporins were equivalent (3 trials, 387 patients; relative risk [RR], 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 3.58). Simultaneous catheter removal/replacement was superior to urokinase at decreasing treatment failures (1 trial, 37 patients; RR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.13 to 4.91). Continuous and intermittent intraperitoneal antibiotic dosing were equivalent regarding treatment failure (4 trials, 338 patients; RR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.37 to 1.30) and relapse (4 trials, 324 patients; RR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.63 to 1.39). One trial showed superiority of intraperitoneal antibiotics over intravenous therapy.

The method quality of trials generally was suboptimal and outcome definitions were inconsistent. Small patient numbers led to inadequate power to show an effect. Interventions, such as optimal duration of antibiotic therapy, were not evaluated.

Trials did not identify superior antibiotic regimens. Intermittent and continuous antibiotic dosing are equivalent treatment strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-988
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial agents
  • peritoneal dialysis
  • peritoneal lavage
  • peritonitis
  • urokinase


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