Peritonitis risk factors: A single unit review of peritonitis patient specific characteristics

Mrs Robyn Rogers1, Associate Professor  Ken-Soon Tan1

1Logan Renal Services, Meadowbrook, Australia


Peritonitis is a known major cause of peritoneal dialysis (PD) technique failure, as well as a leading cause of hospitalisation. There are many reported risk factors, modifiable and non-modifiable. We reviewed our PD unit’s non-peritonitis patient group with our peritonitis patient group, evaluating demographic and physical differences and therefore identify patients at greater risk for peritonitis episodes.


All peritonitis episodes were reviewed from 1st January 2016 to 30th June 2019. During this study period, 47 of 134 incident patients, had a total of 72 episodes of peritonitis. Patient demographics and physical factors were studied, including ethnicity, dialysis type, age, gender, diabetic status, BMI, serum albumin and potassium. This data was then compared with the same factors in our non-peritonitis PD population.


Initial review of data collected from our patient population, indicated that the peritonitis group of patients were predominately male, diabetic and on APD. Caucasian, Pacific Islander/Maori/ Indian patients had more episodes of peritonitis compared to our Asian and Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander patients.

However, further regression analysis when calculated, did not show statistically significant differences in these factors, probably due to limited study numbers.


Interventions can be made to improve modifiable risk factors; however, the non-modifiable risk factors present more of a challenge. Awareness of other demographical non-modifiable risk factors allows early identification of patients that may be at a greater risk for peritonitis.


I have been working as a Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Logan Hospital Peritoneal Dialysis Unit for the last 10 years, but have been worked across various areas of Nephrology including CKD, Pre-dialysis and Haemodialysis for 30 years.  I enjoy teaching motivated patients to fully care for their dialysis needs at home and embrace any new technology or methods to help them achieve their goals and maintain their independence.


The ASM is hosted by Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology.

The aims of the Society are to promote and support the study of the kidney and urinary tract in health and disease, and to ensure the highest professional standards for the practice of nephrology in Australia and New Zealand.

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