DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of a section through the human abdomen describing the process of continous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, the infusion of dialysis fluid from a plastic bag directly into the peritoneal cavity via a plastic catheter. The purpose of both peritoneal dialysis and haemodialysis (performed on a kidney machine) are to remove waste products from body fluids of a person whose kidneys' function insufficiently. In both cases the principles of dialysis are identical (see detail at top right): waste solutes in blood diffuse across a semipermeable membrane (in this case the peritoneal membrane) towards the lower solute concentrations of the dialysis fluid.
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