Effects of Hemodialysis on Cerebral Circulation Evaluated by Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography

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Abstract

Background and Purpose

The effects of hemodialysis on the cerebral circulation of humans and the correlation between changes in blood flow velocity in the basal cerebral arteries and those of several physiological variables influenced by hemodialysis have been inadequately studied.

Methods

Blood flow velocities were obtained from the middle cerebral artery and the basilar artery by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography in 27 patients receiving chronic maintenance hemodialysis immediately before and after the procedure. Changes in body weight, hematocrit, blood pressure, and arterial blood gases were recorded simultaneously.

Results

There was a significant reduction in mean flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (P<.01) and the basilar artery (P<.01) after hemodialysis. We observed a significant negative correlation between the relative change in mean flow velocity and the loss of weight after hemodialysis, the amount of fluid removed, and the increase in hematocrit in the middle cerebral artery and the basilar artery.

Conclusions

Hemodialysis and the associated physiological changes can significantly affect the cerebral circulation. Blood flow velocities in the middle cerebral artery and the basilar artery decrease significantly with hemodialysis. The loss of body weight, the amount of fluid removed, and the change in hematocrit significantly correlate with the change in mean flow velocity. The transcranial Doppler method can effectively monitor rapid changes in the cerebral circulation during potentially harmful procedures. (Stroke. 1994;25:408-412.)

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