BACKGROUND: Peritonitis is a common cause of technique failure in peritoneal dialysis (PD). Dialysis center-level characteristics may influence PD peritonitis outcomes independent of patient-level characteristics.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.
SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: Using Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA) data, all incident Australian PD patients who had peritonitis from 2004 through 2014 were included.
PREDICTORS: Patient- (including demographic data, causal organisms, and comorbid conditions) and center- (including center size, proportion of patients treated with PD, and summary measures related to type, cause, and outcome of peritonitis episodes) level predictors.
OUTCOMES & MEASUREMENT: The primary outcome was cure of peritonitis with antibiotics. Secondary outcomes were peritonitis-related catheter removal, hemodialysis therapy transfer, peritonitis relapse/recurrence, hospitalization, and mortality. Outcomes were analyzed using multilevel mixed logistic regression.
RESULTS: The study included 9,100 episodes of peritonitis among 4,428 patients across 51 centers. Cure with antibiotics was achieved in 6,285 (69%) peritonitis episodes and varied between 38% and 86% across centers. Centers with higher proportions of dialysis patients treated with PD (>29%) had significantly higher odds of peritonitis cure (adjusted OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.04-1.40) and lower odds of catheter removal (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.62-0.97), hemodialysis therapy transfer (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.62-0.97), and peritonitis relapse/recurrence (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.48-0.98). Centers with higher proportions of peritonitis episodes receiving empirical antibiotics covering both Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms had higher odds of cure with antibiotics (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.42). Patient-level characteristics associated with higher odds of cure were younger age and less virulent causative organisms (coagulase-negative staphylococci, streptococci, and culture negative). The variation in odds of cure across centers was 9% higher after adjustment for patient-level characteristics, but 66% lower after adjustment for center-level characteristics.
LIMITATIONS: Retrospective study design using registry data.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that center effects contribute substantially to the appreciable variation in PD peritonitis outcomes that exist across PD centers within Australia.