Cognitive impairment in peritoneal dialysis patients

Paramjit Kalirao, Sarah Pederson, Robert N. Foley, Ali Kolste, David Tupper, David Zaun, Vanessa Buot, Anne M. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Background: The prevalence of moderate to severe cognitive impairment in hemodialysis patients is more than double the prevalence in the general population. This study describes cognitive impairment occurrence in a peritoneal dialysis cohort compared with a cohort without chronic kidney disease (CKD). Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting & Participants: 51 English-speaking peritoneal dialysis patients from 2 urban dialysis units compared with 338 hemodialysis patients from 16 urban dialysis units and 101 voluntary controls without CKD from urban general medicine clinics. Predictor: 45-minute battery of 9 validated neuropsychological tests (cognitive domains memory, executive function, and language). Outcomes: Mild, moderate, or severe cognitive impairment, classified according to a previously designed algorithm. Results: Of the peritoneal dialysis cohort, 33.3% had no or mild, 35.3% had moderate, and 31.4% had severe cognitive impairment; corresponding values were 60.4%, 26.7%, and 12.9% of the non-CKD cohort and 26.6%, 36.4%, and 37.0% of the hemodialysis cohort. A logistic regression model including age, sex, race, education, hemoglobin level, diabetes, and stroke showed that only nonwhite race (P = 0.002) and low education (P = 0.002) were associated with moderate to severe cognitive impairment in the peritoneal dialysis cohort. Compared with hemodialysis patients, more peritoneal dialysis patients had moderate to severe memory impairment (58% vs 51%), but fewer had impaired executive function (one-third vs one-half). Peritoneal dialysis was associated with a more than 2.5-fold increased risk of moderate to severe global cognitive impairment compared with no CKD (OR, 2.58; 95% CI, 1.02-6.53), as was hemodialysis (OR, 3.16; 95% CI, 1.91-5.24), in an adjusted logistic regression model. Limitations: Small sample size, participation rate somewhat low. Conclusions: Similar to hemodialysis patients, two-thirds of peritoneal dialysis patients had moderate to severe cognitive impairment, enough to interfere with safely self-administering dialysis and adhering to complex medication regimens. These patients could benefit from cognitive assessment before and periodically after dialysis therapy initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-620
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support: Support for this work was provided by the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation , Minneapolis, MN, and National Institute on Aging grant K021174A .


  • Cognitive impairment
  • cognitive testing
  • hemodialysis
  • peritoneal dialysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Cognitive impairment in peritoneal dialysis patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this