Icodextrin is a high molecular weight, starch-derived glucose polymer, which is capable of inducing sustained ultrafiltration over prolonged (12–16 hour) peritoneal dialysis (PD) dwells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of icodextrin to alleviate refractory, symptomatic fluid overload and prolong technique survival in PD patients.
A prospective, open-label, pre-test/post-test study was conducted in 17 PD patients (8 females/9 males, mean age 56.8 ± 2.9 years) who were on the verge of being transferred to haemodialysis because of symptomatic fluid retention that was refractory to fluid restriction, loop diuretic therapy, hypertonic glucose exchanges and dwell time optimisation. One icodextrin exchange (2.5 L 7.5%, 12-hour dwell) was substituted for a long-dwell glucose exchange each day.
Icodextrin significantly increased peritoneal ultrafiltration (885 ± 210 ml to 1454 ± 215 ml, p < 0.05) and reduced mean arterial pressure (106 ± 4 to 96 ± 4 mmHg, p < 0.05), but did not affect weight, plasma albumin concentration, haemoglobin levels or dialysate:plasma creatinine ratio. Diabetic patients (n = 12) also experienced improved glycaemic control (haemoglobin Alc decreased from 8.9 ± 0.7% to 7.9 ± 0.7%, p < 0.05). Overall PD technique survival was prolonged by a mean of 11.6 months (95% CI 6.0–17.3 months). On multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis, extension of technique survival by icodextrin was only significantly predicted by baseline net daily peritoneal ultrafiltration (adjusted HR 2.52, 95% CI 1.13–5.62, p < 0.05).
Icodextrin significantly improved peritoneal ultrafiltration and extended technique survival in PD patients with symptomatic fluid overload, especially those who had substantially impaired peritoneal ultrafiltration.