Cognition may be related to arterial pulsatility index in HD patients

James B. Post, Kel G. Morin, John P. Handrakis, Dwindally Rosado Rivera, Christina Yen, Mary Sano, Ann M. Spungen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aims: Hemodialysis (HD) patients have a heavy burden of subclinical cerebrovascular disease and cognitive changes consistent with a vascular etiology. Pulsatility index is associated with microangiopathy of cerebral blood vessels and an increased risk of cerebral infarction. The proposed study was to determine common carotid artery pulsatility index (CCAPI) and its relation to cognition in well-dialyzed HD patients with no history of stroke or dementia and matched controls. Methods: Observational, cross-sectional study of CCAPI and cognition in 37 hemodialysis outpatients and 18 matched controls with normal kidney function. Non-parametric analyses were used to compare variables between groups. Multiple regression and ANOVA models were used to adjust for risk factor differences. Results: Controls had a lower CCAPI than the HD group (1.7 ± 0.3 vs. 2.1 ± 0.4 cm/s, p = 0.006). HD patients scored significantly lower on all cognitive domains. Attention correlated with CCAPI in HD patients, independent of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and years on HD (r2 =-0.36, p = 0.01). CCAPI correlated with years on HD, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. (r2 = 0.26, p = 0.04). Conclusion: In well-dialyzed hemodialysis patients with no history of stroke or dementia, CCAPI may correlate with cognitive function and represent a marker for underlying cerebral microvascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Hemodialysis
  • Pulsatility


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