Successful use of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator in a patient with relapsing peritonitis

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American Journal of Kidney Diseases


Intraperitoneal (IP) administration of either streptokinase (SK) or urokinase (UK) has assumed an adjunctive role to antibiotic therapy in selected patients with relapsing peritonitis. In these circumstances, bacteria may be protected from antibiotics through sequestration in either fibrinous structures or biofilms within the lumen of the peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter or the peritoneal cavity. In some cases, it appears that disruption of these sheltered microenvironments by thrombolytic agents facilitated eradication of the offending organism and obviated the need for catheter removal, replacement, or interim hemodialysis. Although IP SK has been generally well tolerated as additive therapy in relapsing peritonitis, sporadic reports of significant complications, such as abdominal pain, fever, and severe hypotension, have precluded its more widespread acceptance. The only other thrombolytic agent used in this setting, UK, is presently unavailable because of a manufacturing shortfall. Therefore, adjunctive thrombolytic therapy for relapsing peritonitis is currently restricted. To circumvent these limitations, we devised an IP tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) protocol to eliminate recurring infection in a patient undergoing chronic ambulatory PD. After a third episode of peritonitis caused by Enterobacter cloacae, treated twice previously with an adequate antibiotic regimen, we instilled 6 mL of tPA (1 mg/mL) into the PD catheter for a 2-hour dwell time. The treatment was well tolerated and, in conjunction with a third course of antibiotic therapy, has produced an infection-free interval of 8 months. © 2001 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.

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