An analysis of ten-year trends in infections in adults on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)

J. Bernardini, J. L. Holley, J. R. Johnston, J. A. Perlmutter, B. Piraino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infectious complications are the Achilles heel of CAPD. To determine trends in these events, we analyzed the CAPD related infections of 303 adults on CAPD at a single university center between 1979 and 1989. During this decade the percentage of insulin-dependent diabetics increased from 14% to 39% (p<0.005). Peritonitis rates fell from 2.4 episodes/y in 1979 to 0.8 episodes/y in 1989. The proportion of patients with multiple episodes of peritonitis decreased (40% of the patients in 1979-1982 vs 15% in 1983-1989, p = 0.0001) while the proportion of patients with no episodes of peritonitis increased during the same periods (29% vs 49%, p = 0.005). The proportion of peritonitis episodes due to S. aureus rose over the 10-year period (p = 0.005), while those due to S. epidermidis decreased (p<0.10). The overall incidence of S. aureus peritonitis remained unchanged. Catheter infection rates initially increased and then fell during the decade; S. aureus remained the predominant cause. The proportion of peritonitis episodes associated with catheter infection rose (13% in 1982 vs 24% in 1989, p = 0.025), and in 1989, 80% of these episodes were caused by S. aureus. Catheter loss was also primarily due to S. aureus infections in 1989 (80%). Infections due to P. aeruginosa were a persistent problem. The proportion of patients transferring to hemodialysis each year paralleled catheter loss rates, which in turn appeared to be more related to catheter infection rates than to peritonitis rates. We conclude that control of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa will be the key to future reductions in the infectious complications of CAPD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • CAPD infections
  • P. aeruginosa
  • S. aureus
  • S. epidermidis
  • peritonitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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