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peritoneal dialysis


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(PD) a form of renal replacement therapy (see dialysis) that utilizes the peritoneum as the semipermeable membrane separating blood and dialysate. Peritoneal dialysis can be given as a temporary and emergency treatment using a rigid percutaneous cannula to deliver fluid into the peritoneal cavity; this cannula usually needs removal and/or replacement within a few days. Alternatively, PD can be used as a chronic treatment, either in the form of chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (see capd) or automated peritoneal dialysis (APD), in which case fluid delivery is through a soft silastic catheter that is tunnelled subcutaneously out of the peritoneal cavity and is designed to stay in place for years. In all cases, the dialysis fluid is left within the peritoneal cavity for a period of time during which substances in the bloodstream diffuse into the fluid according to their concentration gradient and the permeability of the peritoneal membrane.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.


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