Sodium toxicity in peritoneal dialysis: mechanisms and “solutions”

  • Silvio Borrelli
  • Luca De Nicola
  • Roberto Minutolo
  • Alessandra Perna
  • Michele Provenzano
  • Gennaro Argentino
  • Gianfranca Cabiddu
  • Roberto Russo
  • Vincenzo La Milia
  • Toni De Stefano
  • Giuseppe Conte
  • Carlo GarofaloEmail author
  • for the Research Group of Peritoneal Dialysis of Italian Society of Nephrology


The major trials in peritoneal dialysis (PD) have demonstrated that increasing peritoneal clearance of small solutes is not associated with any advantage on survival, whereas sodium and fluid overload heralds higher risk of death and technique failure. On the other hand, higher sodium and fluid overload due to loss of residual kidney function (RKF) and higher transport membrane is associated with poor patient and technique survival. Recent experimental studies also show that, independently from fluid overload, sodium accumulation in the peritoneal interstitium exerts direct inflammatory and angiogenetic stimuli, with consequent structural and functional changes of peritoneum, while in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease sodium stored in interstitial skin acts as independent determinant of left ventricular hypertrophy. Noteworthy, this tissue pool of sodium is modifiable being removed by dialysis. Therefore, novel PD strategies to optimize sodium removal, including the use of bimodal and/or low-sodium solutions, are actively tested. Nonetheless, a holistic approach aimed at preserving peritoneal function and the kidney may represent the key of therapy success in the hard task of preserving adequate sodium balance in PD patients. In this review, we describe the available evidence on sodium toxicity in PD, either related or unrelated to fluid overload, and we also discuss about possible “solutions” to preserve or restore sodium balance in PD patients.


Sodium toxicity Volume overload Peritoneal dialysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Nephrology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvio Borrelli
    • 1
  • Luca De Nicola
    • 1
  • Roberto Minutolo
    • 1
  • Alessandra Perna
    • 1
  • Michele Provenzano
    • 2
  • Gennaro Argentino
    • 3
  • Gianfranca Cabiddu
    • 4
  • Roberto Russo
    • 5
  • Vincenzo La Milia
    • 6
  • Toni De Stefano
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Conte
    • 1
  • Carlo Garofalo
    • 1
    Email author
  • for the Research Group of Peritoneal Dialysis of Italian Society of Nephrology
  1. 1.Nephrology Units at University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.University Magna GreaciaCatanzaroItaly
  3. 3.Ospedale del MareNaplesItaly
  4. 4.Hospital “G. Brotzu”CagliariItaly
  5. 5.University of BariBariItaly
  6. 6.Hospital “A. Manzoni”LeccoItaly

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