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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2005 September;57(3):199-209

language: English

The treatment of infections in dialysis

Kleinpeter M. A.

Section of Nephrology, Department of Medicine Tulane University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, LA, USA


Infectious complications are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Infectious diseases play a role in the morbidity and mortality of hemodialysis (HD) patients as well. Prevention of transmission of infectious diseases is of paramount importance in any program concentrating on renal replacement therapy, including HD, PD and kidney transplantation. Despite effective means to eradicate infections, increased usage of antimicrobial agents has resulted in antimicrobial resistance. The focus of this paper will be infections in dialysis. Some of the infectious complications discussed here may be applicable to patients with end-stage renal disease who have received a kidney transplant. Prevention of infections in dialysis includes development of infection control strategies by dialysis units with appropriate surveillance strategies. Dialysis staff education, patient education and physician participation is essential for successful infection control in dialysis units. Patients with other chronic infections, such as hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on dialysis may require additional infection control strategies for dialysis units to prevent infection of other patients and dialysis unit staff. Surveillance and prevention of tuberculosis is part of the comprehensive infection control plan for patients and staff and special considerations may occur for treatment of tuberculosis in other epidemiologic and economic areas of the world. Immunizations, a cornerstone to prevent many infections, have led to decreased morbidity and mortality for many diseases and many immunizations play a role in prevention of disease in dialysis patients.

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