Nail changes in chronic renal failure patients under haemodialysis

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2008 Nov;22(11):1326-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2008.02826.x. Epub 2008 Jun 5.


Background: Chronic renal failure is known to cause various nail pathologies. They may be directly related to the renal condition itself or its complications or to the therapy.

Objective: To compare nail changes in end-stage renal failure patients under haemodialysis with healthy persons and to study the potential relationship with various parameters in the patients.

Patients and methods: The study comprised 100 patients with chronic renal failure under regular haemodialysis as well as 100 healthy control subjects of matched age and sex. Both groups were subjected to full history taking and thorough general and nail examination. Complete blood picture, liver and kidney function tests and fasting blood glucose level were investigated.

Results: Nail disorders were more prevalent in patients (76%) than in control group (30%). The half and half nail was the most common finding (20%) followed by - in descending manner - absent lunula, onycholysis, brittle nail, Beau's lines, clubbing, longitudinal ridging, onychomycosis, subungual hyperkeratosis, koilonychias, total leukonychia, splinter hemorrhage, pitting and pincer nail deformity. There was non-significant correlation between nail changes and age of the patients or duration of haemodialysis. In addition, no evidence of significant relation was found between nail changes and both haemoglobin and albumin levels.

Conclusion: Frequent nail changes are observed on systematic nail examination of uraemic patients undergoing haemodialysis; however, the cause of them remains obscure and could not be traced to a particular abnormality in the renal condition, medication or the procedure itself and it needs further investigations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nails / physiopathology*
  • Renal Dialysis*