Nutritional and Functional assessment of peritoneal dialysis patients in the clinical practice: Report from MITO-DP Group


Nutritional abnormalities and physical inactivity are risk factors of increased morbidity and mortality in patients with ESRD. Identify and define malnutrition, in particular protein-energy depletion (PEW), is an important task in the management of renal patients. The aim of this multicenter observational study was to implement the assessment of nutritional status and functional capacity in patients on peritoneal dialysis, including tests and validated methods which are relatively easy to apply in daily clinical practice.

The study includes all the 133 prevalent patients (80 m, 53 f, age 65 ± 14 years), in peritoneal dialysis treatment (vintage 26 ± 19 months) in 9 centers in Tuscany. We performed anthropometry, bioimpedance (BIA), clinical biochemistry, evaluation of habitual physical activity (RAPA tests) and performance (Sit-To-Stand test), appetite-evaluation questionnaire, and indices including the Malnutrition Inflammation Score (MIS), Geriatric Nutrition Risk Index (GNRI), Charlson comorbidity index, Barthel and Karnowsky index.

The latter showed a condition of dependence in 7.2% and 19.7% of cases, respectively. Poor appetite was recorded in 48.2%. The majority of patients fell within the overweight / obesity range (51%) with waist circumference values associated with increased cardiovascular risk in 51% of males and 60% of females. At the BIA analysis, a BCMI <8 kg/m2 was detected in 39% of patients; an estimated protein intake <1.0 g / kg/d was found in 59% of cases; 34% of patients had serum albumin <3.5 g / dl; control of acidosis was good (bicarbonate 25.4 ± 3.8 mM) but hyperphosphatemia was present in 64.6% of patients. A condition of sedentary or light physical activity was reported by 65.1% of patients, vigorous activity only by 11.9%. The 86.5% of patients able to perform the Sit-to-stand test reported a lower than the reference values for age and sex.

A diagnosis of PEW was possible in 8% of our series, while a MIS score> 11, indicative of PEW, took place in 12.7% of cases. The values of the MIS correlated directly with age and the degree of comorbidity and inversely with the sit-to-stand test, RAPA tests and appetite level.

The data in this study show that single tests indicative of malnutrition disorders are frequent to be found in our series of peritoneal dialysis patients. However, a diagnosis of PEW is quite infrequent. A large percentage of patients are overweight with increased abdominal adiposity, and reduced cell mass and protein intake below recommended levels; the level of habitual physical activity is low, and the level of physical capability is scarce. Therefore it is conceivable a nutritional counseling intervention to increase the intake of proteins, limiting the phosphorus and (when indicated) energy intake and to stimulating spontaneous physical activity or arranging assisted programs for functional rehabilitation. Close monitoring of the nutritional status and implementation of programs of adapted physical activity should have a prominent role in the clinical management of patients on peritoneal dialysis

Full text of the article is available in Italian.