Edema and Related Medical Conditions

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Preliminary Report of Brain Edema in Patients with Uremia at First Hemodialysis: Evaluation by Diffusion-Weighted MR Imaging

A Preliminary Report of Brain Edema in Patients with Uremia at First Hemodialysis: Evaluation by Diffusion-Weighted MR Imaging

C.L. Chena, P.H. Laib, K.J. Choua,c, P.T. Leea,c,d, H.M. Chunga,c and H.C. Fanga,C
Division of Nephrology, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwanb Department of Radiology, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwanc Department of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwand Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Cheng Kung University School of Medicine, Tainan, Taiwan

Please address correspondence to Hua-Chang Fang, MD, 386 Ta-Chung 1st Rd, Kaohsiung 813, Taiwan, ROC; e-mail: hcfang@isca.vghks.gov.tw

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The dynamics of brain-water content associated with hemodialysis in patients with severe azotemia remains obscure. To investigate whether either interstitial or cytotoxic edema is responsible for dialysis disequilibrium syndrome (DDS), we used diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) to measure the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), which is sensitive for detecting tissue water dynamics.

METHODS: Eight consecutive patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) and blood urea nitrogen level of more than 100 mg/dL (160.9 ± 53.1 mg/dL) were recruited. Conventional MR images, DWI, and clinical manifestations were obtained before and after the 1st hemodialysis. The ADC values were determined for regions of normal-appearing gray and white matter and for regions of hyperintensity of white matter on T2-weighted MR imaging.

RESULTS: Foci of bright areas of white matter were found in all patients on T2-weighted images. The ADC values of the patients with ESRD, in white matter and gray matter before and after hemodialysis, were greater than those of the healthy controls (P < .005). Regarding the impact of hemodialysis, the ADC of frontal lobe white matter increased significantly after hemodialysis (1.09 ± 0.11 versus 1.03 ± 0.11, P = .036). We did not find the specific area of brain edema reported in posterior leukoencephalopathy and the osmotic demyelination syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that severe azotemia in end stage renal disease leads to interstitial brain edema reflected as increased ADC, and the further increased ADC reflects that edema associated with 1st hemodialysis is interstitial rather than cytotoxic in nature.

American Journal of Neuroradiology 28:68-71, January 2007