Many studies have suggested clinical benefits of icodextrin in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients regarding fluid management, glycaemic control and metabolic improvement. However, reports on whether icodextrin can improve patient and technique survival is sparse. A total of 2163 patients from 54 centres in Korea who initiated PD from July 2003 to December 2006 were enrolled. Outcomes data were retrieved retrospectively from the Baxter Korea database. Among these patients, 641 patients who had been prescribed icodextrin for >50% of their PD duration were defined as the 'icodextrin' group and the remaining 1522 patients as the 'non-icodextrin' group. Propensity score matching yielded 640 matched pairs of patients. We compared all-cause mortality and technique failure rates between the two groups. There were no significant differences in age, gender, diabetes, cardiovascular comorbidity, socioeconomic status, biocompatible solution use in short dwells or centre experience between the two groups. Death occurred in 92 (14.4%) patients in the icodextrin group compared with 128 (20.0%) in the non-icodextrin group [hazard ratio (HR), 0.69; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.53-0.90; P = 0.006]. In addition, icodextrin use was associated with a significantly lower risk of technique failure (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.40-0.92; P = 0.018). The icodextrin group had fewer technique failures due to non-compliance compared with the non-icodextrin group whereas peritonitis- or ultrafiltration failure-related technique failure was not different between the two groups. This study further supports previous findings of long-term utilization of icodextrin solution improving patient and technique survival in PD patients. To confirm these results, a large randomized prospective study is warranted.