Use of incremental peritoneal dialysis: impact on clinical outcomes and quality of life measure

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Journal of Nephrology


Background: Incremental peritoneal dialysis (PD) can be defined as a PD prescription that is less than the standard, full dose prescription and is typically used for patients initiating PD with residual kidney function. It has been suggested that use of incremental peritoneal dialysis may help preserve residual kidney function and may offer better quality of life due to the lower treatment burden, however published evidence is limited. In this study we assessed the associations between incremental peritoneal dialysis use and both clinical outcomes and quality of life measures in a large cohort of incident peritoneal dialysis patients in the US. Methods: We considered adult patients initiating peritoneal dialysis between 31 July, 2015 and 31 May, 2019 within a single dialysis organization. Patients with body weight < 40 kg, amputation, or an estimated glomerular filtration rate > 20 mL/min during the first 4 weeks on peritoneal dialysis were excluded. Patients were assigned to exposure groups based on peritoneal dialysis prescription during dialysis weeks 5–8. Incremental peritoneal dialysis was defined by treatment frequency, number of exchanges/day, and exchange volume (for continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis patients) or by treatment frequency and presence/absence of last fill (for automated peritoneal dialysis patients). Analyses were performed separately for continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and automated peritoneal dialysis. For each analysis, incremental peritoneal dialysis patients were propensity score matched to eligible full-dose peritoneal dialysis patients. Patients were followed for a maximum of 12 months until censoring for loss to follow-up or study end. Outcomes were compared using Poisson models (mortality, hospitalization, peritoneal dialysis discontinuation), linear mixed models (estimated glomerular filtration rate), and paired t tests (KDQOL domain scores). Results: Among continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis patients, compared to full-dose peritoneal dialysis, incremental peritoneal dialysis use was associated with better KDQOL scores on 3 domains: physical composite score (42.5 vs 37.7, p = 0.03), burden of kidney disease (60.2 vs 45.6, p = 0.003), effects of kidney disease (79.4 vs 72.3, p = 0.05). Hospitalization and mortality rates were numerically lower (0.77 vs 1.12 admits/pt-year, p = 0.09 and 5.0 vs 10.2 deaths/100 pt-years, p = 0.22), while no associations were found with estimated glomerular filtration rate or peritoneal dialysis discontinuation rate. Use of incremental peritoneal dialysis was not associated with any discernable effects on outcomes in automated peritoneal dialysis patients. Conclusion: These results suggest that there may be benefits of using incremental PD in the context of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, particularly with respect to quality of life as a prescription strategy when initiating peritoneal dialysis. While no significant benefits of incremental peritoneal dialysis were detected among patients initiating automated peritoneal dialysis, no detrimental effects of using incremental schedules were observed for either peritoneal dialysis type. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].