Increased cerebral water content in hemodialysis patients

Kathrin Reetz, Zaheer Abbas, Ana Sofia Costa, Vincent Gras, Frances Tiffin-Richards, Shahram Mirzazade, Bernhard Holschbach, Rolf Dario Frank, Athina Vassiliadou, Thilo Krüger, Frank Eitner, Theresa Gross, Jörg Bernhard Schulz, Jürgen Floege, Nadim Jon Shah

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Little information is available on the impact of hemodialysis on cerebral water homeostasis and its distribution in chronic kidney disease. We used a neuropsychological test battery, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a novel technique for quantitative measurement of localized water content using 3T MRI to investigate ten hemodialysis patients (HD) on a dialysis-free day and after hemodialysis (2.4±2.2 hours), and a matched healthy control group with the same time interval. Neuropsychological testing revealed mainly attentional and executive cognitive dysfunction in HD. Voxel-based-morphometry showed only marginal alterations in the right inferior medial temporal lobe white matter in HD compared to controls. Marked increases in global brain water content were found in the white matter, specifically in parietal areas, in HD patients compared to controls. Although the global water content in the gray matter did not differ between the two groups, regional increases of brain water content in particular in parieto-temporal gray matter areas were observed in HD patients. No relevant brain hydration changes were revealed before and after hemodialysis. Whereas longer duration of dialysis vintage was associated with increased water content in parieto-temporal-occipital regions, lower intradialytic weight changes were negatively correlated with brain water content in these areas in HD patients. Worse cognitive performance on an attention task correlated with increased hydration in frontal white matter. In conclusion, long-term HD is associated with altered brain tissue water homeostasis mainly in parietal white matter regions, whereas the attentional domain in the cognitive dysfunction profile in HD could be linked to increased frontal white matter water content.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0122188
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

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