No reduction in the incidence of peritonitis could be shown from catheter-related interventions for peritoneal dialysis

People with advanced kidney disease may be treated with peritoneal dialysis where a catheter is permanently inserted into the peritoneum (lining around abdominal contents) through the abdominal wall and sterile fluid is drained in and out a few times each day. The most common serious complication is infection of the peritoneum - peritonitis. This may be caused by bacteria accidentally being transferred from the catheter. This review of different catheter types, insertion or immobilisation techniques showed that they do not reduce the incidence of peritonitis.

Authors' conclusions: 

No major advantages from any of the catheter-related interventions which have been purported to reduce the risk of PD peritonitis could be demonstrated in this review. The frequency and quality of available trials are suboptimal.

Read the full abstract...

As many as 15-50% of end-stage kidney disease patients are on peritoneal dialysis (PD), but peritonitis limits its more widespread use. Several PD catheter-related interventions have been purported to reduce the risk of peritonitis in PD.


To evaluate the use of catheter-related interventions for the prevention of peritonitis in PD.

Search strategy: 

The Cochrane Renal Group's specialised register (June 2004), The Cochrane CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library Issue 2 2004), MEDLINE (1966-April 2004), EMBASE (1988-April 2004) and reference lists were searched without language restriction

Selection criteria: 

Trials comparing different catheter insertion techniques, catheter types, use of immobilisation techniques or different break in periods were included. Trials of different PD sets were excluded.

Data collection and analysis: 

Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Statistical analyses were performed using a random effects model and the results expressed as risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Main results: 

Seventeen eligible trials (1089 patients) were identified, eight of surgical strategies of catheter insertion, eight of straight versus coiled catheters, one of single cuff versus double cuff catheters and one of an immobiliser device. The methodological quality was suboptimal. There were no significant differences with laparoscopy compared with laparotomy for peritonitis, the peritonitis rate, exit-site/tunnel infection or catheter removal/replacement. Standard insertion with resting but no subcutaneous burying of the catheter versus implantation and subcutaneous burying was not associated with a significant reduction in peritonitis rate, exit-site/tunnel infection rate or all-cause mortality. Midline compared to lateral insertion showed no significant difference in the risk of peritonitis or exit-site/tunnel infection. There was no significant difference in the risk of peritonitis, peritonitis rate, exit-site/tunnel infection, exit-site/tunnel infection rate or catheter removal/replacement between straight versus coiled intraperitoneal portion catheters. One trial compared single versus double cuffed catheters and showed no significant difference in the risk of peritonitis, exit-site/tunnel infection or catheter removal/replacement. One trial compared immobilisation versus no immobilisation of the PD catheter and showed no significant difference in the risk of peritonitis and exit-site/tunnel infection. No trials of different break-in periods were identified.