1. This study tests the feasibility of peritoneal dialysis for the delivery of O2 and removal of CO2 during experimental hypoxia, hypercapnia and acidaemia in rabbits.
2. Immediately after peritoneal infusion of a bolus of oxygenated dialysate, dialysate O2 content decreased, CO2 content increased and pH decreased. However, arterial Po2, Pco2 and pH did not change significantly.
3. During active dialysis at a flow of 70–120 ml/min, O2 and CO2 content difference between dialysate inflow and outflow was 0·87 and 1·32 ml 100 ml−1min−1, respectively. After 60 min of active dialysis, arterial Po2 increased from 50 to 63 mmHg, Pco2 decreased from 49 to 43 mmHg, and pH was maintained.