Peritoneal dialysis (PD) has become a real alternative to hemodialysis (HD) in recent decades, with comparable survival rates, lower costs, and improved patient quality of life. Nevertheless, PD‐related infections, including peritonitis, exit‐site infections (ESI), and tunnel infections, are important complications, resulting in significant morbidity and a 3.5–10.0% risk of death. Patients with peritonitis usually present with cloudy PD‐fluid and abdominal pain; however, PD‐associated peritonitis should always be included in differential diagnosis of PD patients with abdominal pain. The most common causative organisms for PD‐associated peritonitis are gram‐positive bacteria; however, gram‐negative species are clinically important, due to the antibiotic resistance. The selection of empiric antibiotics depends on the center‐specific distribution of microorganisms and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles. Typically, a first‐generation cephalosporin is used in combination with broad gram‐negative coverage (e.g., aminoglycoside, ceftazidime, or cefepime). High levels of methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis or Enterococcus spp. strains require the use of vancomycin in many centers. Furthermore, for patients without clinical improvement after 5 days, or with fungal peritonitis, catheter removal is indicated.
Part of the book: Some Special Problems in Peritoneal Dialysis