Computerized tomography of the brain in children with chronic renal failure

A. Steinberg, R. Efrat, A. Pomeranz, A. Drukker

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We performed computerized tomography (CT) of the brain in 22 patients, 2 to 18 years of age, with stable chronic renal failure (n = 6), on dialysis (n = 14) and after renal transplantation (n = 2). None suffered from a systemic disease known to affect the central nervous system (CNS) and none had overt CNS dysfunction at the time of the CT examination. The most striking pathological finding was brain atrophy, which was present in 13 patients (59%). In two patients cortical infarcts were present and one patient was found to have a hypodense area in the basal ganglia. The brain atrophy could not be related to the type of basic renal disease, the age of the patient, corticosteroid dosage, the duration of the renal failure or the presence of hypertension. However, the mode of treatment, i.c. hemodialysis, seemed to be a risk factor. We assume that metabolic derangements and/or the accumulation of toxic substances due to the uremic state may be responsible for the brain atrophy in young patients with CRF. Recurrent osmotic changes of the brain during hemodialysis may aggravate the process of brain atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


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