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Abstract: PO1296

Inline Turbidity Measurement Using an Optical Sensor for Early Detection of Peritonitis

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 703 Dialysis: Peritoneal Dialysis


  • Garbaccio, Mia, Renal Research Institute, New York, New York, United States
  • Grobe, Nadja, Renal Research Institute, New York, New York, United States
  • Tao, Xia, Renal Research Institute, New York, New York, United States
  • Kotanko, Peter, Renal Research Institute, New York, New York, United States

Peritonitis, a serious bacterial infection, can occur in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD). Timely treatment is critical for peritonitis since delay in the initiation of antimicrobial therapy is linked with an increased risk of technical failure and death. Peritonitis was oftentimes presented with turbid PD spent dialysate induced by increased white blood cells (WBC) concentration. This can be detected by the change of light intensity transmitted through PD fluid onto an optical sensor. We have developed a low cost (<$10), reusable in-line optical sensor that can adapt to automated PD cycler tubing sets to detect turbidity in PD fluid.


A optical sensor system with white-light LED light source was designed to clamp on the visualization chamber of Liberty cycler tubing set. Spent PD dialysate and fresh dialysate were tested through a drain line recirculation circuit by the optical sensor system at 50 and 100 ml/min flow rate. To mimic peritonitis, isolated white blood cells, ranging from 50-300 cell/ µl, were added to fresh dialysate and analyzed with the optical sensor.


12 deidentified peritonitis-negative (WBC <100 cells/µl) spent dialysate samples from stable PD patients were tested. Fresh dialysate had a similar signal magnitude compared with spent dialysate. A change of flow rate from 50 ml/min to 100ml/min did not affect the signal from the optical sensor at baseline. A linear relationship (R2=0.99) between increased concentration of WBC and decreased transmitted light intensity was captured by the optical sensor.


Change of WBC induced-turbidity in PD dialysate can be detected with a low cost optical sensor without alternation of an existing PD drain line.


  • Commercial Support – Renal Research Institute