Global and Regional White Matter Fractional Anisotropy in Children with Chronic Kidney Disease

J Pediatr. 2022 Mar:242:166-173.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.11.006. Epub 2021 Nov 7.


Objective: To investigate the associations between neurocognition and white matter integrity in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Study design: This cross-sectional study included 17 boys (age 6-16 years) with a diagnosis of mild to moderate (stages 1-3, nondialysis/nontransplant) CKD because of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract and 20 typically developing community controls. Participants underwent 3T neuroimaging and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to assess white matter fractional anisotropy. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate the impact of each group (controls vs CKD) on white matter fractional anisotropy, adjusting for age. Associations between white matter fractional anisotropy and neurocognitive abilities within the CKD group were also evaluated using regression models that were adjusted for age. The false discovery rate was used to account for multiple comparisons; wherein false discovery values <0.10 were considered significant.

Results: Global white matter fractional anisotropy was reduced in patients with CKD relative to controls (standardized estimate = -0.38, 95% CI -0.69:-0.07), driven by reductions within the body of the corpus callosum (standardized estimate = -0.44, 95% CI -0.75:-0.13), cerebral peduncle (SE = -0.37, 95% CI -0.67:-0.07), cingulum (hippocampus) (standardized estimate = -0.45, 95% CI -0.75:-0.14), and posterior limb of the internal capsule (standardized estimate = -0.46, 95% CI -0.76:-0.15). Medical variables and neurocognitive abilities were not significantly associated with white matter fractional anisotropy.

Conclusions: White matter development is vulnerable in children with CKD because of congenital causes, even prior to the need for dialysis or transplantation.

Keywords: brain; chronic kidney disease; cognition; pediatric; white matter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anisotropy
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic*
  • White Matter* / diagnostic imaging