Drawing from diverse sources including epidemiological and clinical data, surgical observations, histopathology, serosal healing responses to fibrin and fibrinolysis, tissue reaction to chronic exposure, and to exo- and endotoxins, new information on mesothelial stem cells, autocrine and paracrine influences on their proliferation and collagen synthesis, and the effect of glucose on fibroconnective tissue, we have begun to piece together the pathogenetic jigsaw of fibrosis in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). The reaction of peritoneal mesothelium and stroma to the stress of continual dialysis results in a spectrum of alterations ranging from opacification through a tanned peritoneum syndrome to sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis (SEP). Any agent that causes irritation of the mesothelial layer and induces serositis, or single severe or multiple episodes of peritonitis resulting in mesothelial loss, predisposes the peritoneum to fibroneogenesis. An accurate definition of the histopathological changes of peritoneal thickening is a prerequisite for defining pathogenesis. This paper is the first attempt to create such a framework. It is evident from many areas of study that fibrin deposition and fibrinolysis, hyalinization of the superficial stromal collagen possibly tanned through nonenzymatic glycosylation by dialysate glucose and the proliferative potential of mesothelial stem cells play an important and possibly interdependent role in excessive fibroneogenesis in certain patients on CAPD. Many of the pieces of the jigsaw are obviously still missing, and the picture is most surely incomplete. Nevertheless, the outline of the pathologic and etiologic landscape should now be discernible.