Altered pattern of spontaneous brain activity in the patients with end-stage renal disease: a resting-state functional MRI study with regional homogeneity analysis

Xue Liang, Jiqiu Wen, Ling Ni, Jianhui Zhong, Rongfeng Qi, Long Jiang Zhang, Guang Ming Lu
PloS One 2013, 8 (8): e71507

PURPOSE: To investigate the pattern of spontaneous neural activity in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) with and without neurocognitive dysfunction using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) with a regional homogeneity (ReHo) algorithm.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: rs-fMRI data were acquired in 36 ESRD patients (minimal nephro-encephalopathy [MNE], n = 19, 13 male, 37±12.07 years; non-nephro-encephalopathy [non-NE], n = 17, 11 male, 38±12.13 years) and 20 healthy controls (13 male, 7 female, 36±10.27 years). Neuropsychological (number connection test type A [NCT-A], digit symbol test [DST]) and laboratory tests were performed in all patients. The Kendall's coefficient of concordance (KCC) was used to measure the regional homogeneity for each subject. The regional homogeneity maps were compared using ANOVA tests among MNE, non-NE, and healthy control groups and post hoc t -tests between each pair in a voxel-wise way. A multiple regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationships between ReHo index and NCT-A, DST scores, serum creatinine and urea levels, disease and dialysis duration.

RESULTS: Compared with healthy controls, both MNE and non-NE patients showed decreased ReHo in the multiple areas of bilateral frontal, parietal and temporal lobes. Compared with the non-NE, MNE patients showed decreased ReHo in the right inferior parietal lobe (IPL), medial frontal cortex (MFC) and left precuneus (PCu). The NCT-A scores and serum urea levels of ESRD patients negatively correlated with ReHo values in the frontal and parietal lobes, while DST scores positively correlated with ReHo values in the bilateral PCC/precuneus, MFC and inferior parietal lobe (IPL) (all P<0.05, AlphaSim corrected). No significant correlations were found between any regional ReHo values and disease duration, dialysis duration and serum creatinine values in ESRD patients (all P>0.05, AlphaSim corrected).

CONCLUSION: Diffused decreased ReHo values were found in both MNE and non-NE patients. The progressively decreased ReHo in the default mode network (DMN), frontal and parietal lobes might be trait-related in MNE. The ReHo analysis may be potentially valuable for elucidating neurocognitive abnormalities of ESRD patients and detecting the development from non-NE to MNE.

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