Clinical and electrophysiologic findings in dialysis patients

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2009 Jun;19(3):500-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2007.10.011. Epub 2007 Dec 26.


The aim of this study was to quantitatively determine the electrophysiologic changes occurring in the peripheral nerves and muscles in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) treated with haemodialysis (HD) or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), and to determine which electrophysiologic parameters are most commonly abnormal in uraemic patients. We investigated the relationship between the parameters of neurography and quantitative electromyography (QEMG) and clinical findings. The study included 42 patients with CRF (30 on HD and 12 on CAPD). Nerve conduction studies (NCSs) of the median, ulnar, tibial, peroneal, and sural nerves, and QEMG of the tibialis anterior and biceps brachii muscles were performed. We found axonal and/or demyelinating polyneuropathies in 97.6% of the patients (100% of HD and 91.7% of CAPD patients), but were not able to verify any significant differences between the HD and CAPD patients using NCS or QEMG. Median, ulnar, sural sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitudes, peroneal CV and F-latency were the most common abnormal parameters in sensory and motor NCSs, respectively. The clinical findings only correlated with the parameters of neurography, and not with the parameters of QEMG. Sural SNAP amplitudes, peroneal and tibial CVs, F-latencies also correlated with the severity of the clinical findings in these patients, suggesting that these parameters can be used in follow up studies in these patients. In this study, most of the uraemic patients were found to have already mild or moderate neuropathies in which the objective clinical signs might be absent, even if they have some clinical symptoms. NCS showed abnormality indicating polyneuropathy in 24 out of 25 patients with clinical neuropathy signs and in 17 out of 17 patients with no clinical signs. Thus, in subclinical conditions NCS is useful to detect the abnormalities in peripheral nerves of the ureamic patients under chronic dialysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiopathology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult