Seizures in patients undergoing hemodialysis
- Kathryn A Davis, MD, MSTR
Kathryn A Davis, MD, MSTR
- Assistant Professor of Neurology
- University of Pennsylvania
- Iheanyichukwu Ogu, MD
Iheanyichukwu Ogu, MD
- Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Nephrology
- Marshall Kidney Care and Hypertension Center
- Marshall University School of Medicine
- Thomas A Golper, MD
Thomas A Golper, MD
- Section Editor — Dialysis
- Professor of Medicine
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Seizures are not uncommon among hemodialysis patients .
There are many potential causes of seizures among hemodialysis patients. In most circumstances, seizure activity occurs during or shortly after the hemodialysis procedure because of the hemodynamic and biochemical changes associated with the process .
This topic reviews the causes and treatment of seizures in hemodialysis patients. The management of seizures in patients without renal failure is presented elsewhere. (See "Overview of the management of epilepsy in adults".)
A review of other acute complications that may occur during dialysis are presented separately. (See "Acute complications during hemodialysis".)
Causes — The evaluation of a new-onset seizure is similar to that of nondialysis patients. The following causes are due to either end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or treatment with hemodialysis: uremic encephalopathy, dialysis dysequilibrium syndrome (DDS), intradialytic hemodynamic instability, aluminum-associated dialysis dementia, air embolism, hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, and hyponatremia.
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