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Interest in targeting drugs into the peritoneal cavity for intra-abdominal cancers or infections is undergoing a revival as recent clinical trials have demonstrated, not only a regional advantage in concentration of the active agent, but also improved long-term outcomes. Solutions currently used for intraperitoneal (IP) drug delivery have short residence times, however, which can limit the exposure of all areas of the peritoneum to the active agent. Icodextrin 4% solution was compared with saline and a glucose-based peritoneal dialysis solution in a clinical study of IP residence time. The study was carried out during the fortnightly rest phase in 9 patients undergoing 5-fluorouracil (5-Fu) IP treatment for colorectal cancer. The volume remaining in the peritoneal cavity was measured at 0, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hr after an instillation of 2 liters of each fluid. Saline (n = 3 dwells) and glucose (n = 3 dwells) peritoneal dialysis solutions were almost fully absorbed by 24 hr, and the patients experienced discomfort when using these solutions. In contrast, icodextrin 4% solution (n = 188 dwells) maintained its instilled volume for up to 48 hr, and half the instilled volume remained after 72 and 96 hr. This result would allow extensive and prolonged coverage of the peritoneal surface. Icodextrin 4% solution may be an effective vehicle to deliver therapeutic agents into the peritoneal cavity.

Original publication




Journal article


Drug Deliv

Publication Date





9 - 12


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic, Colorectal Neoplasms, Dialysis Solutions, Drug Delivery Systems, Female, Fluorouracil, Glucans, Glucose, Humans, Icodextrin, Kidney, Kidney Function Tests, Male, Middle Aged, Peritoneal Dialysis, Water-Electrolyte Balance