Structural brain changes in patients who receive different durations of hemodialysis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical Psychology, School of Medicine, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Nephrology, Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

3 Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Clinical Psychology, School of Medicine, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

4 Associate Professor of Radiology, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

5 Health Information Management Department, School of Management and Medical Informatics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

6 National Institute for Medical Research Development (NIMAD), Tehran, Iran


Background: Hemodialysis patients are particularly vulnerable to cerebral vascular disease. Both hemodialysis duration and cerebral small vessel disease are crucial in this patient population, and additional research is necessary to further understand their relationship.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the structural brain changes in patients who receive different durations of hemodialysis.
Methods: We recruited a total of 80 hemodialysis patients and categorized them into two groups to scrutinize the effects of hemodialysis treatment. Group 1 included 41 patients who received hemodialysis for more than six months, and Group 2 consisted of 39 patients who underwent hemodialysis treatment for less than six months. The structural and vascular modifications of the brain in these two groups were studied using a 1.5 Tesla MRI machine to perform brain scans by our research team.
Results: Patients who underwent hemodialysis treatment for a more extended period, with a median treatment duration of up to 4 years, showed minor vessel disease, compared to those who received hemodialysis for a shorter period of 3 to 5 months. The ischemic effects were predominantly found in areas such as the pre-ventricular, subcortical, and white matter, with mean± SD of 1.33±0.471, 1.23±0.420, and 1.39±0.490, respectively. Additionally, we identified other brain abnormalities, such as pons irregularities, global brain atrophy, thinning in the corpus callosum, and frontal lobe atrophy, with a significant value of P<0.01).
Conclusion: The study indicates that extended periods of hemodialysis reveal discernible signs of subcortical and periventricular white matter disease among patients. This finding provides critical insight into the potential long-term impacts of hemodialysis treatment, highlighting the need for further investigation and advanced treatment measures.


Main Subjects

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