Uremic neuropathy is a symmetric, mixed sensorimotor neuropathy, with longer axons being affected first. It afflicts most patients with end-stage renal disease; uremic toxins are thought to be the major contributors to the disease. Dialysis may stabilize the disease, but the most successful treatment is renal transplantation.
Among the types of neuropathy associated with uremia, polyneuropathy is the most characteristic, but focal and shunt-related neuropathies also occur . The neuropathy only develops in patients who have substantially decreased glomerular filtration rates (less than 12 ml/min) , and was found in early studies using nerve biopsies to progress from distal to proximal sites . It affects the lower extremities to a larger extent than the upper, and males more than females. The primary defect is axonal degeneration, accompanied by secondary segmental demyelination .
The early symptoms show mainly sensory losses, but motor function is also affected. The earliest signs include the loss of the Achilles reflex . This and other early signs, - such as paresthesias, reduction in vibration sense and deep tendon reflexes, perturbation of position sensation, and muscle weakness - indicate defects in large fibers. Damage to small fibers can also show up as allodynia, pain, changes in temperature sensation, and visceral pain.
- Restless Legs Syndrome
"Clinical and biochemical findings in uremic patients with and without restless legs syndrome." American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 1998; 31:132. Winkelman, JW, Cherow, GM, & Lazarus, JM. "Restless legs syndrome in end-stage renal disease." [mywhatever.com]
The most common symptoms were restless legs syndrome (47%) and cramps (51%). Sensory symptoms were less common in patients on long-term hemodialysis, most common of them being paresthesia (29%) and burning feet syndrome (28%). [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
legs syndrome Common among dialysis pts (6-60%) Anemia, iron deficiency, low PTH concentration Diagnostic criteria - desire to move extremity + paresthesia, dysthesia - desire to move extremity + paresthesia, dysthesia - motor restlessness - motor [slideplayer.com]
legs syndrome- 20% of patients with CKD suffer from this disorder, dialysis does not substantially improve uremic restless legs syndrome, improvement of restless legs symptoms have been shown after kidney transplantation. 35. 6. [slideshare.net]
Muscle cramps and restless legs syndrome were reported by 67% of uremic patients. These symptoms also can be seen in uremic patients without neuropathy. [emedicine.medscape.com]
Uremic neuropathy needs to be differentiated from other forms of peripheral neuropathy. Foremost among these is diabetic neuropathy, as diabetes is often the cause of chronic kidney disease  ; however, there are other metabolic and hormonal states, as well as vitamin deficiencies, toxins, and inflammatory conditions that can cause neuropathies. Blood tests can be used for the identification of vitamin deficiencies (for example B12) and diabetes. They can also be used to detect antinuclear antibodies, markers of inflammation, and hormone levels.
Some of the neuropathies that need to be ruled out are vasculitic neuropathy , chronic or acute demyelinating neuropathies, such as the Guillain-Barré syndrome, and inflammatory demyelinating neuropathies associated with membranous glomerulonephritis  .
After general and neurological examinations, which provide background information, electrodiagnostic tools – sensory and motor nerve conduction, F response, H reflex and needle electromyography - help in categorizing the deficit, and defining its extent. . These methods can also distinguish between axonal degeneration and demyelination, and characterize the disease as polyneuropathy or mononeuropathy .
Early studies of uremic neuropathy measured nerve conduction velocities and found them to be decreased, even in patients without clinical symptoms. Subsequent studies also found general slowing and abnormalities in conductance, but in addition noted a decrease in the amplitude in sensory, but not motor responses . In one recent study, the amplitude of the sural sensory nerve action potential was the parameter most commonly affected in patients with end-stage kidney disease . Another recent study also found sural sensory action potential a sensitive predictor of neuropathy, but identified F wave latency as the most sensitive indicator, especially in subclinical polyneuropathy .
Nerve excitability measurements, which identify changes in axonal membrane potential in neuropathy , were also performed on patients with chronic kidney disease . These studies showed a reduction in compound muscle action potential, and indicated that axonal membranes were depolarized . The excitability markers showed noticeable improvement on dialysis, and thus may be a good indication regarding the adequacy of dialysis . More than one study   detected a correlation between potassium levels and excitability markers, and concluded that it may be important to maintain normal serum potassium concentration between courses of dialysis .
Other Test Results
- Slow Nerve Conduction Velocity
Case 58A A Woman with Leg Numbness Pain Weakness and Slow Nerve Conduction Velocities 372 Case 58B A Boy with Leg Weakness 375 Case 59 A Man with Hand Weakness and Numbness After Skiing 383 Case 60 A Man with Recurrent Foot Drop 386 Case 61 An Elderly [books.google.com]
Chapter 28 287 Chapter 30 301 Chapter 31 309 Chapter 32 321 Chapter 33 333 Prognosis of Renal Disease in Infancy 355 Chapter 37 365 Antibiotic Management of Urinary Tract Infection in the Chronic Renal 381 Chapter 39 389 Chapter 40 397 Pathogenesis of [books.google.com]
Treatment and Prognosis Uremic neuropathy is a serious condition that can arise from acute kidney failure. Your best course of action is to catch your kidney issues before they become acute and you develop uremic neuropathy. [neuropathydr.com]
Prognosis is good, with rapid and complete recovery after treatment of the rejection episode. 16. [slideshare.net]
As the GFR decreases, the prognosis worsens. Some of the effects can be reversed with dialysis. [en.wikipedia.org]
Prognosis With intermittent hemo- or peritoneal dialysis, the clinical manifestations of uremic neuropathy generally stabilize, and either improve slowly over time or progress, especially in the elderly. [emedicine.medscape.com]
This article will review the literature and describe the clinical features, the etiology, and the treatment of uremic neuropathy. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Define the possible etiologies and clinical characteristics of chronic kidney disease. Compare the various methods of dialysis. Describe the various peripheral neuropathies associated with chronic kidney disease. [mhmedical.com]
[…] arsenic, vinblastine, others) He hereditary R recurrent A amyloid P porphyria (motor involvement, intermittent) I infections (AIDS, mononucleosis, leprosy, diphtheria) S systemic (CVD, uremia, dysproteinemia) T tumor (paraneoplastic) Peripheral Neuropathy Etiologic [enotes.tripod.com]
OxyContin, Roxicodone, others), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo, others), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose, others), or fentanyl (Duragesic, Subsys, others). 10,11 Adjuvant analgesics may be added at any step of the WHO ladder based upon the nature and etiology [practicalpainmanagement.com]
For disease comparison, patients with peripheral neuropathy of variable etiologies will also be recruited. [clinicaltrials.gov]
Clinical epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in chronic renal failure. Am J Kidney Dis. 1998; 32 :S112–9. [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ] 14. Knox DL, Hanneken AM, Hollows FC, Miller NR, Schick HL, Jr, Gonzales WL. Uremic optic neuropathy. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Clinical epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in chronic renal failure. Am J Kidney Dis 1998;32: S112-9. 14. Knox DL, Hanneken AM, Hollows FC, Miller NR, Schick HL Jr, Gonzales WL. Uremic optic neuropathy. Arch Ophthalmol 1988;106:50-4. 15. [indianjnephrol.org]
They suggested that motor and sensory axons in patients with uremic neuropathy were depolarized before dialysis, and hyperkalemia that was primarily responsible for uremic depolarization could contribute to the development of neuropathy. [19, 20, 21] Epidemiology [emedicine.medscape.com]
Studies utilizing novel axonal excitability techniques have recently shed further light on the pathophysiology of this condition. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Uremic neuropathy: clinical features and new pathophysiological insights. Muscle Nerve. 2007 Mar;35(3):273-90. Mansouri B, Adybeig B, Rayegani M, Yasami S, Behshad V. Uremic neuropathy and the analysis of electrophysiological changes. [homedialysis.org]
Bolton and Young summarized uremic neuropathy thoroughly in their 1990 book.  Pathophysiology The mechanism of uremic neuropathy remains unclear. [emedicine.medscape.com]
Krishnan AV, Kiernan MC (2007) Uremic neuropathy: clinical features and new pathophysiological insights. Muscle Nerve 35: 273–290. View Article Google Scholar 6. [journals.plos.org]
• Chronic dialysis may prevent neuropathy in some patients, especially if begun early. Renal transplantation is generally the most successful method to prevent neuropathy. [medlink.com]
We conclude that HDF might prevent the worsening of the electroneurographic indices occurring during chronic HD treatment, as it provides a more effective removal of middle and larger molecules than HD. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Collaborative Meta-Analysis of Randomised Trials of Antiplatelet Therapy for Prevention of Death, Myocardial Infarction, and Stroke in High Risk Patients. [books.google.es]
[…] the target range can also help you prevent nerve damage. [homedialysis.org]
Prevention Chronic dialysis may prevent neuropathy in some patients if it begins early. Renal transplantation should be considered to prevent uremic neuropathy. [emedicine.medscape.com]
- Al-Hayk K, Bertorini TE. Neuromuscular complications in uremics: a review. Neurologist. 2007;13(4):188-196.
- Krishnan AV, Kiernan MC. Uremic neuropathy: clinical features and new pathophysiological insights. Muscle Nerve. 2007 Mar;35(3):273-290.
- Asbury AK, Victor M, Adams RD. Uremic polyneuropathy. Arch Neurol. 1963 ;8:413-428.
- Ramirez BV, Gomez PAB. Uraemic neuropathy: A review. Int J Genet Mol Biol. 2012;3(11):155-160.
- Schaublin GA, Michet CJ, Dyck PJ, Burns TM. An update on the classification and treatment of vasculitic neuropathy. Lancet Neurol. 2005; 4(12):853-865.
- Kohli A, Tandon P, Kher V. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy with membranous glomerulonephritis: report of one case. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 1992; 94(1):31-33.
- Panjwani M, Truong LD, Eknoyan G. Membranous glomerulonephritis associated with inflammatory demyelinating peripheral neuropathies. Am J Kidney Dis. 1996;27(2):279-283.
- Misra UK, Kalita J, Nair PP. Diagnostic approach to peripheral neuropathy. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Apr-Jun;11(2):89–97.
- Krishnan AV, Phoon RK, Pussell BA, et al. Altered motor nerve excitability in end-stage kidney disease. Brain. 2005;128:2164-2174.
- Laaksonen S, Metsärinne K, Voipio-Pulkki LM, Falck B. Neurophysiologic parameters and symptoms in chronic renal failure. Muscle Nerve. 2002;25(6): 884-890.
- Kiernan MC, Burke D, Andersen KV, Bostock H. Multiple measures of axonal excitability: a new approach in clinical testing. Muscle Nerve. 2000 Mar;23(3):399-409
- Kiernan MC, Walters RJ, Andersen KV, Taube D, Murray NM, Bostock H. Nerve excitability changes in chronic renal failure indicate membrane depolarization due to hyperkalaemia. Brain. 2002; 125(6):1366- 1378.