Non-invasive assessment of peritoneal membrane alterations
The peritoneal dialysis membrane is subject to remodelling in the course of peritoneal dialysis. In the absence of longitudinal morphological studies, this process is mainly studied indirectly by the investigation of changes in peritoneal transport. Non-invasive assessment of the peritoneum is also possible by assessment of substances that originate from peritoneal tissues and can be determined either as their gene expression in peritoneal effluent cells and/or as proteins in peritoneal effluent. Three of these biomarkers will be discussed, because longitudinal data are available.
Cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) is present on the mesothelium,while its gene (MUC 16) is expressed in peritoneal effluent cells and is related to dialysate CA 125 protein. The constitutive production and the small intra-individual variability of 15% indicate its usefulness as a follow-up marker of mesothelial cell mass. Dialysate appearance rate is higher on biocompatible than on conventional solutions, but both decrease during long-term follow-up.
Interleukin-6 (Il-6) is present in peritoneal effluent due to both transport from the circulation and local intraperitoneal production. Its appearance rate is unrelated to its gene expression in peritoneal cells. The intra-individual variation of effluent Il-6 averages 28%, hampering the interpretation of cross-sectional values. The relationships between effluent Il-6 and peritoneal transport have been interpreted as microinflammation, but are difficult to interprete due to mathematical coupling.
Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is encoded by the SERPINE 1 gene. A relationship is present between effluent concentration and gene expression. PAI-1 production is stimulated by glucose. PAI-1 appearance rate increases with PD duration. The sensitivity of effluent PAI-1 for the diagnosis of encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis was 100% one year prior to the diagnosis and the specificity 56%.
It can be concluded that the discussed biomarkers are useful extensions to transport in assessment of the peritoneum during dialysis.
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