Nitric oxide plays an important role in mediating the inflammatory process. The aim of this study was to evaluate if nitric oxide production was increased during peritonitis in patients receiving continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), and the association with the prognosis. The study population comprised 21 patients with 22 episodes of peritonitis. Fifteen patients without peritonitis were controls. Nitrate was measured by HPLC and nitrite by the Griess method, to reflect nitric oxide production. Peritoneal dialysate effluent and plasma were collected from six patients during peritonitis and 1 week after treatment to study changes in dialysate:plasma ratio. In 15 patients, nitrite was measured during peritonitis and every 3 days for 2 weeks or until normalized for evolutional changes. The dialysate:plasma ratios of nitrate and nitrite during peritonitis were reduced 26% and 41.5%, respectively, after 1 week of treatment, indicating the peritoneal production of nitric oxide during peritonitis. In the evolutional study, a 5.1-fold increase of peak nitrite levels in bacterial peritonitis (n = 13) and a 2.5-fold increase in fungal peritonitis (n = 3) were observed compared to controls. Nitrite gradually declined to control levels (9.3 ± 7.2 days) after effective antibiotic treatment, but took longer than to normalize leukocyte count in the peritoneal dialysate effluent (3.9 ± 1.9 days). In four patients with refractory peritonitis (Candida infection in three, Acinetobacter infection in one), the nitrite levels remained elevated 2-fold despite treatment, and the catheters were removed. It is concluded that nitrite levels in peritoneal dialysate effluent may serve as a marker to assess treatment efficacy in CAPD patients with peritonitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2466-2471
Number of pages6
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
  • Nitric oxide
  • Peritonitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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