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      Haemodialysis and Cerebral Oedema

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          Background: Haemodialysis may cause neurological symptoms ranging from inconvenient feelings of disequilibrium to life-threatening neurological complications. There are animal data to suggest cerebral swelling may accompany haemodialysis and contribute symptomatically to dialysis disequilibrium. However, MR images acquired following haemodialysis often fail to demonstrate evidence of cerebral oedema. We wished to quantify any potential cerebral volume change which is caused by haemodialysis treatment. Method: Five renal patients and 5 control subjects had a two volumetric T1-weighted MRI scans on the same day. The patients were imaged immediately before and after haemodialysis. None were taking steroids. Precise positional matching (registration) was used to quantify cerebral volume change. Results: Patients had an increase in cerebral volume following dialysis which averaged 32.8 ml (SE 7.4 ml, 3% brain volume). The change in the controls was 1.4 ml (SE 0.6 ml), p < 0.001. No patient had significant neurological symptoms. Conclusion: Cerebral oedema developed in the patients following dialysis. There is a good biological model for these observations. Modifications to dialysis may help. Common problems which increase cerebral volume, e.g. acute stroke, require careful appraisal in these patients. These observations need consideration when quantifying atrophy in dialysis patients.

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          Accurate Registration of Serial 3D MR Brain Images and Its Application to Visualizing Change in Neurodegenerative Disorders

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            Hypertension as an Etiopathological Factor in the Development of Cerebral Atrophy in Hemodialyzed Patients

            Twenty-five patients on long-term regular hemodialysis treatment (RDT) at our dialysis unit who underwent diagnostic cerebral computed tomography (CCT) participated in a study aimed at clarifying the pathogenesis of cerebral atrophy occasionally found at their original scan. The upper age limit was 55 years to exclude the physiological involutive brain changes occurring with age. Cerebral atrophy (CA), as defined morphologically (enlargement of cerebral sulci or an increased Evan’s Index), was detected in all cases. Seventeen patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to define possible white matter changes more accurately. No significant correlation was found between the degree of atrophy and the following uremia-altered hematoseric parameters: creatinine, hematocrit, cholesterol, triglyceridemia, albumin, PTH, calcium, inorganic phosphate. There was no correlation between degree of atrophy and number of months the patients had been on RDT or time that passed between the finding of a creatinine clearance <30 ml/min and the start of RDT. Very high correlations were found between the degree of CA and predialytic blood pressure values, and between CA and the duration of hypertension (n = 13, r = 0.66, p < 0.013). Thus, hypertension seems to be an early cause of cerebral parenchymal damage in RDT patients, and should be promptly corrected.

              Author and article information

              S. Karger AG
              16 February 2001
              : 87
              : 2
              : 143-147
              Departments of aClinical Neurology and bRenal Medicine and Transplantation, St. Mary’s Hospital, London, and cDementia Research Group, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK
              45903 Nephron 2001;87:143–147
              © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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              Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 30, Pages: 5
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