• dialysis;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • periventricular hyperintensity;
  • subcortical white matter hyperintensity;
  • white matter hyperintensities


Aim:  Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), comprising periventricular hyperintensity (PVH) and deep and subcortical white matter hyperintensity (DSWMH) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been reported to be markers of ischaemic cerebral small-vessel disease and risk factors for future stroke, cognitive impairment and dementia in the general population. However, there have been only a few reports describing WMHs in haemodialysis (HD) patients and these previous studies have been relatively small population studies with little investigation on prevalence and risk factors according to the regional subtypes of WMHs.

Methods:  Cranial MRI was performed on 179 HD patients and 58 healthy control subjects and we investigated the prevalence of WMHs (PVH and/or DSWMH) and the clinical factors associated with the presence of WMHs.

Results:  The prevalence of WMHs was significantly higher in the HD patients than in the healthy subjects. In the HD patients, multiple logistic regression analysis showed that independent and significant factors associated with the presence of PVH were age, female gender and systolic blood pressure and those associated with the presence of DSWMH were age, female gender, systolic blood pressure and body mass index.

Conclusions:  These findings indicated a high prevalence of WMHs in HD patients. Older age, female gender and high blood pressure were strong factors associated with the presence of both PVH and DSWMH. Moreover, excess body weight was a significant factor associated with the presence of DSWMH only, indicating that there may be differences in risk factors according to the subtype of WMHs.