Can dialysis cause brain swelling?

Background: Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is not an uncommon complication of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and may be complicated by cerebral edema. Hemodialysis (HD) may induce rapid osmolar and fluid shifts, increasing brain water content with the potential to worsen cerebral edema.

What causes edema in dialysis patients?

Most people on dialysis; however, make little to no urine, because their kidneys are no longer properly removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. Without urination, fluid builds up in the body and can cause swelling, shortness of breath and/or weight gain.

Is edema common in dialysis patients?

Edema was present in 17% (three of 18) of those who were younger than 40, 7% (two of 30) in those who were 40 to 50, 20% (10 of 50) in those who were 50 to 60, 36% (10 of 28) in those who were 60 to 70, and 45% (nine of 20) in those who were >70 yr of age.

What are some complications of dialysis?


  • Low blood pressure (hypotension). A drop in blood pressure is a common side effect of hemodialysis.
  • Muscle cramps. Although the cause is not clear, muscle cramps during hemodialysis are common.
  • Itching.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Anemia.
  • Bone diseases.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Fluid overload.

What are the symptoms of dialysis disequilibrium?

Disequilibrium syndrome (DDS) is a rare but serious complication of hemodialysis. It is characterized mainly by neurological symptoms such as fatigue, mild headaches, nausea, vomiting, disturbed consciousness, convulsions and coma. The symptoms are usually mild, transient and self-limiting and rarely, it can be fatal.

What fluid is removed during dialysis?

Hemodialysis removes fluid as the blood is filtered through the dialysis machine. However, there is a limit on how much fluid can be safely removed during a dialysis session. If you exceed your fluid allowance, sometimes an extra dialysis session may be required to remove all the extra fluid.

What is dialysis encephalopathy?

Dialysis encephalopathy (DE) is a distinct neuropsychiatric syndrome typically occurring in patients undergoing longterm hemodialysis. It is characterized by electroencephalographic abnormalities in association with disturbances of speech, cognition, movement, affect, or behavior.

What causes confusion in dialysis patients?

The confusion induced by cerebral edema due to the acute fluid, urea, and electrolyte shifts during dialysis (especially among newly initiated hemodialysis patients) is one of the symptoms classically referred to in the “dialysis disequilibrium,” syndrome.

What is the most common complication in dialysis?

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is one of the most common side effects of haemodialysis. It can be caused by the drop in fluid levels during dialysis. Low blood pressure can cause nausea and dizziness.

What causes dizziness in dialysis patients?

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is one of the most common side effects of haemodialysis. It can be caused by the drop in fluid levels during dialysis. Low blood pressure can cause nausea and dizziness. The best way to minimise these symptoms of low blood pressure is to keep to your daily fluid intake recommendations.

What level of urea causes encephalopathy?

In one pediatric study, encephalopathy occurred in 40% of the children with a BUN level greater than 90 mg/dL. As the BUN level increased, the likelihood of these children developing convulsions increased.

What causes dialysis encephalopathy?

Dialysis encephalopathy was related to the presence of aluminum in dialysis fluids and the concomitant intake of aluminum-containing drugs used to decrease serum phosphate levels. Elevated aluminum was found in the brain, muscle, and other tissues of the affected patients.

Can kidney failure affect your brain?

They studied data from more than 2,600 people in the Netherlands, and found that poor kidney function was strongly associated with decreased blood flow to the brain. They also saw an increased risk of stroke and memory and thinking problems (dementia) in people with kidney problems.

Can MRI detect cerebral edema after hemodialysis?

In careful studies of rats that had been nephrectomized, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed the presence of cerebral edema after the rats received hemodialysis [23]. More interestingly, the authors concluded from the results of their diffusion-weighted MRI study that the edema was interstitial and not intracellular [23].

How do you know if you have cerebral edema?

Cerebral edema can be difficult for doctors to diagnose without proper tests and a thorough evaluation. There are some symptoms to look for after an injury or infection that could indicate swelling. Some indications of cerebral edema include: In more severe cases of cerebral edema, you may experience symptoms including: What causes cerebral edema?

What are the symptoms of high intracranial pressure after dialysis?

It is more likely to occur in patients during or immediately after their first treatment, but can occur in any patient who receives hemodialysis. The symptoms involve the neurologic system and are similar to symptoms that occur with increased intracranial pressure or acute hyponatremia, such as restlessness, headache, mental confusion and coma.

What are the symptoms of Dialysis disequilibrium?

BACKGROUND: Dialysis disequilibrium is a rare phenomenon, which occurs more commonly in younger patients who are relatively new to dialysis. Manifestations range from headache, muscle cramps, and nausea, to seizures, altered sensorium and rarely coma or death.