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Neuropsychological functioning in end-stage renal disease
  1. H N Bawden1,
  2. P Acott1,
  3. J Carter2,
  4. D Lirenman2,
  5. G W MacDonald1,
  6. M McAllister4,
  7. M C McDonnell3,
  8. S Shea1,
  9. J Crocker1
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia and British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3Department of Social Work, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  4. 4Department of Psychology, British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr H N Bawden
    IWK Health Centre, PO Box 3070, 5850 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 3G9;


Aims: To compare the neuropsychological functioning and behaviour of children with non-syndromic end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and sibling controls.

Methods: The study was carried out at two tertiary care paediatric teaching hospitals, in Halifax and Vancouver, Canada. Children with ESRD were on a renal transplant waiting list and either pending dialysis or on dialysis therapy. Twenty two patient-sibling pairs were evaluated. Neuropsychological assessments consisting of measures of intelligence, academic achievement, memory, and motor abilities were carried out. Maternal ratings of behaviour and self-report rating of self-esteem were collected.

Results: The Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQs of patients with ESRD were significantly lower than the IQs of the sibling controls. The mean differences were 8.6, 11.7, and 10.9 points, respectively. ESRD patients also had significantly more difficulty on measures of fine motor coordination and ability to copy geometric designs than sibling controls. There were no differences between groups on measures of academic achievement, memory, behaviour, or self-esteem.

Conclusions: Although children with ESRD exhibited mild deficits on measures of intelligence and some measures of motor abilities, their neuropsychological outcome was more favourable than earlier reports indicated.

  • renal disease
  • outcome
  • neuropsychology

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