December 12, 1980

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis

Author Affiliations

Cook County Hospital Chicago


edited by M. Legrain (symposium, Paris, Nov 2-3, 1979), 360 pp, with illus, $63.50, Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica (New York, Elsevier/North-Holland), 1980.

JAMA. 1980;244(23):2670. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310230064032

For decades, nephrologists have conspired to use the living peritoneal membrane as a dialyzing device. But the peritoneum, resentful of having its innermost precincts invaded by plastic tubes and saccharine solutions, has so far refused to submit, as shown by the now-familiar spectacle of chronic peritoneal dialysis' undergoing a revival every few years. The latest onslaught by the nephrologists, conceived in Texas and propagated with evangelical fervor from Missouri and Ontario, is chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Yet "ambulatory" could be a misnomer, because the technique has been applied to infants who have not yet learned to walk and to invalids who have long forgotten what it means to "ambulate."

Be that as it may, the high promise of CAPD has led its protagonists to gather in the City of Light in bleak November, to share their experiences, hopes, and disappointments. All of these were subsequently codified under the able