Renal failure

Treatment of Elevated Intracranial Pressure with Hyperosmolar Therapy in Patients with Renal Failure

Authors: Hirsch KG, Spock T, Koenig MA, Geocadin RG.

BACKGROUND: To evaluate the use of hyperosmolar therapy in the management of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) and transtentorial herniation (TTH) in patients with renal failure and supratentorial lesions.
METHODS: Patients with renal failure undergoing renal replacement therapy treated with 23.4% saline (30-60 mL) and/or mannitol for high ICP or clinical evidence of TTH were analyzed in a retrospective cohort.
RESULTS: The primary outcome measure was reversal of TTH or ICP crisis. Secondary outcome measures were modified Rankin scale on hospital discharge, survival to hospital discharge, and adverse effects. Of 254 subjects over 7 years, 6 patients with end-stage renal disease had 11 events. All patients received a 23.4% saline bolus, along with mannitol (91%), hypertonic saline (HS) maintenance fluids (82%), and surgical interventions (n = 2). Reversal occurred in 6/11 events (55%); 2 of 6 patients survived to discharge. ICP recording of 6 TTH events showed a reduction from ICP of 41 ± 3.8 mmHg (mean ± SEM) with TTH to 20.8 ± 3.9 mmHg (p = 0.05) 1 h after the 23.4% saline bolus. Serum sodium increased from 141.4 to 151.1 mmol/L 24 h after 23.4% saline bolus (p = 0.001). No patients were undergoing hemodialysis at the time of the event. There were no cases of pulmonary edema, clinical volume overload, or arrhythmia after HS.
CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with hyperosmolar therapy, primarily 23.4% saline solution, was associated with clinical reversal of TTH and reduction in ICP and had few adverse effects in this cohort. Hyperosmolar therapy may be safe and effective in patients with renal failure and these initial findings should be validated in a prospective study.

Benign intracranial hypertension and chronic renal failure

Authors: Chang D, Nagamoto G, Smith WE.

Department of Nephrology, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond 23298-0160.

Benign intracranial hypertension (also called pseudotumor cerebri, otitic hydrocephalus, or meningeal hydrops) is a syndrome of markedly elevated intracranial pressure in the absence of intracranial mass, inflammation, or obstruction. Numerous disease processes and medications have been associated with it. However, renal failure has not been documented as an associated condition. In this report, the case of a 27-year-old Native American man with chronic renal failure of unknown etiology is described, with new-onset headache, papilledema, and elevated intracranial pressure. After normal cerebrospinal fluid, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging studies, a diagnosis of benign intracranial hypertension was made. Despite repeated lumbar punctures with cerebrospinal fluid removal, the patient's headaches persisted, and intracranial pressures remained in the 200 to 400 mm H2O range. After initiation of hemodialysis due to progressive deterioration of renal function, the patient's headaches became less severe and eventually disappeared. This case represents a unique association of chronic renal failure with benign intracranial hypertension.

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