BACKGROUND: Glucose is the primary osmotic medium used in most peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions, and exposure to glucose has been shown to exert detrimental effects both locally, at the peritoneal membrane, and systemically. Moreover, high dialysate glucose exposure may predispose patients to an increased risk of peritonitis, perhaps as a result of impaired host defences, vascular disease, and damage to the peritoneal membrane.
METHODS: In this post-hoc analysis of a multicenter, multinational, open-label randomized controlled trial of neutral pH, low-glucose degradation product (GDP) versus conventional PD solutions (balANZ trial), the relationship between peritonitis rates of low (< 123.1 g/day) versus high (≥ 123.1 g/day) dialysate glucose exposure was evaluated in 177 incident PD patients over a 2-year study period.
RESULTS: Peritonitis rates were 0.44 episodes per patient-year in the low-glucose exposure group and 0.31 episodes per patient-year in the high-glucose exposure group, (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.69,p= 0.09). There was no significant association between dialysate glucose exposure and peritonitis-free survival on univariable analysis (high glucose exposure hazard ratio [HR] 0.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40 - 1.08) or on multivariable analysis (adjusted HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.39 - 1.05). Moreover, there was no relationship between peritoneal glucose exposure and type of organism causing peritonitis. Physician-rated severity of first peritonitis episodes was similar between groups, as was rate and duration of hospital admission.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this study did not identify an association between peritoneal dialysate glucose exposure and peritonitis occurrence, severity, hospitalization, or outcomes. A further large-scale, prospective, randomized controlled trial evaluating patient-level outcomes is merited.