Peritoneal dialysis versus hemodialysis: Risks, benefits, and access issues

Ramapriya Sinnakirouchenan, Jean L. Holley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD) are dialysis options for end-stage renal disease patients in whom preemptive kidney transplantation is not possible. The selection of PD or HD will usually be based on patient motivation, desire, geographic distance from an HD unit, physician and/or nurse bias, and patient education. Unfortunately, many patients are not educated on PD before beginning dialysis. Most studies show that the relative risk of death in patients on in-center HD versus PD changes over time with a lower risk on PD, especially in the first 3 months of dialysis. The survival advantage of PD continues for 1.5-2 years but, over time, the risk of death with PD equals or becomes greater than with in-center HD, depending on patient factors. Thus, PD survival is best at the start of dialysis. Patient satisfaction may be higher with PD, and PD costs are significantly lower than HD costs. The new reimbursement system, including bundling of dialysis services, may lead to an increase in the number of incident patients on PD. The high technique failure of PD persists, despite significant reductions in peritonitis rates. Infection also continues to be an important cause of mortality and morbidity among HD patients, especially those using a central venous catheter as HD access. Nephrologists' efforts should be focused on educating themselves and their patients about the opportunities for home modality therapies and reducing the reliance on central venous catheter for long-term HD access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-432
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Chronic Kidney Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Tunneled catheters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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