Background and objectives: Cancer antigen 125 (CA125) reflects the mesothelial cell mass lining the peritoneal membrane in individual patients. A decline or absence of mesothelial cells can be observed with duration of peritoneal dialysis (PD) therapy. Technique failure due to peritoneal membrane malfunction becomes of greater importance after 2 years of PD therapy in comparison to the initial period. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between effluent CA125 and technique survival in incident PD patients with a PD therapy period of at least 2 years.
Methods: Within the Netherlands Cooperative Study on the Adequacy of Dialysis (NECOSAD), a Dutch multicenter cohort including 2,000 incident dialysis patients, we identified all PD patients who developed technique failure after 2 years of PD therapy and randomly selected a number of them as cases in a nested case-control study. Controls were PD patients matched on follow-up time without technique failure. Cases and controls were included if they had a dialysate specimen available within 24 +/- 6 months of PD therapy for retrospective CA125 determinations. Odds ratios for technique failure related to CA125 were estimated. We used a prospective cohort with incident PD patients from the Academic Medical Center-University of Amsterdam (AMC) for replication of effect estimates. In these patients, absolute risk of technique failure was estimated and related to effluent CA125 levels.
Results: A total of 38 PD patients were selected from the NECOSAD cohort. From the AMC cohort as replication cohort, 91 PD patients were included. Incidence rates of PD technique failure per 100 patient-years were 16.3 in the NECOSAD cohort and 12.9 in the AMC cohort. In both study populations CA125 levels below 12 - 14 kU/L were associated with an increased risk for technique failure. Technique survival rates in the AMC were 87% in patients with levels of CA125 above 12.1 kU/L and 65% for those with CA125 levels below this threshold after a maximum 5-year follow-up.
Conclusions: Patients with high CA125 levels after at least 2 years of PD therapy tend to have better technique survival than patients with low CA125 levels. These results support the importance of effluent CA125 as a risk factor for dropout in long-term PD therapy.