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      Dialysis-Related Hypotension as a Cause of Progressive Frontal Lobe Atrophy in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients: A 3-Year Prospective Study

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          Background/Aim: Brain atrophy is known to develop more rapidly in hemodialysis (HD) patients than other individuals. The present study was designed to examine the role of HD-related hypotension in brain atrophy in patients on chronic HD. Methods: By using magnetic resonance imaging, whole brain atrophy was assessed by the ventricular-brain ratio (VBR; ventricular area/whole brain area). Frontal brain atrophy was assessed by the frontal atrophy index (FAI; frontal brain area/intracranial frontal space). The number of lacunae was also counted. We studied 32 HD patients without symptomatic neurological abnormalities or diabetes mellitus: male/female ratio 19/13; mean age ± SD 53 ± 10 (range 28–77) years; mean HD duration ± SD 11 ± 6 (range 1–22) years. Magnetic resonance imagings were taken in 1995 and 1998. All dialysis-related hypotension episodes during the same period were identified from the medical records and counted. Results: The VBR ranged from 8.8 to 18.7% in 1995 (12.8 ± 2.2%) and was not different in 1998 (13.1 ± 2.7%). However, the VBR increased by more than 5% in 14 patients, and their HD duration of 13 ± 6 years was significantly longer than that of 18 patients with stable VBR (p < 0.05). The FAI in 1995 was 62.2 ± 4.2% (range 55.8–71.3%) and decreased significantly to 59.7 ± 4.7% (range 50.2–70.9%) in 1998 (p < 0.05). The change in FAI correlated significantly with both the total number of dialysis-related hypotension episodes (r = 0.45, p < 0.05) and the increase in number of lacunae (r = 0.42, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results suggest that dialysis-related hypotension plays a role in progressive frontal lobe atrophy in HD patients.

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          Brain MRI findings and cognitive impairment in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis treatment.

          Although both morphologic cerebral damage and cognitive dysfunction are known to occur in patients on chronic hemodialysis (CHD) their extent and possible relation have been rarely studied. We therefore performed magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and neuropsychological testing in 30 consecutive CHD patients (mean age 58 years; range 37-69) and in an equal number of asymptomatic volunteers matched for age, sex and major cerebrovascular risk factors. Twenty-four (80%) of the CHD patients were demented according to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IIIR and their mean scores on the Mini Mental State Examination (22.9 +/- 4 vs. 27.9 +/- 1.4; p < 0.001) and Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (112.3 +/- 21.5 vs. 141.9 +/- 2.3); p < 0.001) were significantly lower than those of controls. The brains of CHD patients showed significantly more atrophy on visual rating and semiquantitative morphometric measures. Multiple lacunes or confluent white matter hyperintensities predominated in 10 (33%) patients, three showed territorial infarcts and two a combination of both. Clinically these findings were unexpected in almost half of individuals. Marked cognitive impairment was associated with more extensive enlargement of the third ventricle (5.8 +/- 1.8 vs. 7.3 +/- 2 mm; p < 0.04) and the temporal horns (3.5 +/- 1.6 vs. 5.1 +/- 1.8 mm; p < 0.02) but not with the presence of cerebral ischemic lesions or any difference in laboratory data. These results call attention to a very high rate of cerebral damage in individuals undergoing CHD and suggest brain degeneration of probably toxic-metabolic etiology to be associated with severe cognitive impairment of these patients.
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            Morphologic Abnormalities in the Brain of Chronically Hemodialyzed Patients without Cerebrovascular Disease

            In this study, the authors evaluated the cerebral atrophy in 56 chronic hemodialyzed patients, who did not have clinical episodes or radiologic findings of cerebrovascular diseases, and 42 controls. Using computed tomography (CT) images, brain atrophy index (BAI), the proportion of subarachnoidal plus ventricular space in the cranial cavity, and ventricular area index (VAI), percent area of ventricle in the brain, were calculated. CT of the brain demonstrated an age-dependent increase in BAI in both hemodialyzed patients and controls. BAI and VAI were greater in hemodialyzed patients than healthy controls and the difference was significant at ages under 60 years in BAI and at ages less than 50 years in VAI. The atrophy of the frontal parts of the brain in patients on hemodialysis for 10 years or more was significantly greater than in patients dialyzed for less than 10 years. There was a significant negative correlation between BAI or VAI and hematocrit. These findings indicate that renal failure or hemodialysis itself might cause cerebral atrophy, and that the cerebral atrophy is more prominent in patients on hemodialysis for a long duration and with low hematocrit.
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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

                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron Clinical Practice
                S. Karger AG
                May 2004
                17 November 2004
                : 97
                : 1
                : c23-c30
                aDepartment of Medicine and Clinical Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, and bFirst Department of Internal Medicine, Fukuoka Red Cross Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan
                77592 Nephron Clin Pract 2004;97:c23–c30
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 45, Pages: 1
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/77592
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