Survival after serum creatinine exceeded 10.0 mg/l00 ml was increased if one peritoneal dialysis was performed. After one peritoneal dialysis ‘survival’ of 62 patients to the present time, death or the next dialysis averaged 119 days; median survival was 28 days. Characteristics of prolonged survivors were persistent reduction of serum creatinine below the predialysis concentration, tubulointerstitial diseases, i.e. polycystic kidneys, pyelonephritis or obstructive nephropathy, potentially reversible complications such as urinary tract infection or extracellular volume depletion, and high urine volume, and low blood pressure. Occasional patients with survival exceeding 2 years suggest the possibility of prolonged benefit after a single dialysis at least in those with characteristics favoring longer survival.