Physiology of the Peritoneum

The peritoneal membrane lined by mesoepithelium provides a frictionless environment for visceral organs and produces visceral fluid of about 100 cc daily. Its characteristic is clear straw colored (6,7). The peritoneal membrane can absorb fluid and solute, which is controlled by the concentration of fluid and solutes. The peritoneum can absorb normal saline solution approximately 35 mL/hr after initial equilibrium 300 to 500 mL/hr in hypertonic normal saline.

The peritoneal circulation plays a major role in the exchange of fluid and solutes draining peritoneal dialysis. The parietal peritoneum is supplied by the vessels from the abdominal wall and the visceral peritoneum. The splanchnic vascu-lature contains about one-third of total blood volume and a blood flow rate that exceeds 1200 mL/min, with mesenteric blood flow representing about 10% of cardiac output. There are many factors that influence the peritoneal circulation, such as age, cardiac output, exercise, and hormonal substances (such as angiotensin and epinephrine) (6,7).

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