Aberrant default-mode functional connectivity in patients with end-stage renal disease: A resting-state functional mr imaging study

Ling Ni, Jiqiu Wen, Long Jiang Zhang, Tong Zhu, Rongfeng Qi, Qiang Xu, Xue Liang, Jianhui Zhong, Gang Zheng, Guang Ming Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the functional connectivity of the defaultmode network (DMN) in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by using independent component analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and to correlate these DMN connectivity changes with neuropsychological test results and clinical biomarkers. Materials and Methods: Medical research ethics committee approval and written informed consent were obtained. Forty-six patients with ESRD, including 22 with minimal nephrotic encephalopathy (MNE) and 24 without nephrotic encephalopathy, and 23 healthy control subjects underwent resting-state functional MR imaging. All patients were asymptomatic and without history of neurologic or psychiatric disease. Independent component analysis was used to isolate the DMN. To display the voxels that contributed most strongly to an independent component, the intensity values in each spatial map were converted to z scores, which indirectly provided a measurement of functional connectivity in the DMN. Maps of the DMN were compared among the groups. Pearson correlation analysis was performed to correlate abnormal DMN functional connectivity with serum urea, creatinine, duration of dialysis, duration of disease, and neuropsychological test scores. Results: Patients with ESRD showed significantly less functional connectivity in the posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus, and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) (P < .01) than did control subjects. Comparison of the two patient groups showed significantly reduced functional connectivity in the superior and MPFC in the MNE group (P < .01). The functional connectivity of the MPFC was positively correlated with digital symbol test score (R = 0.293, P = .048). Serum creatinine level was negatively correlated with functional connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus in patients with ESRD (R = -0.51, P = .002). Conclusion: Functional connectivity in the DMN was impaired in patients with ESRD, with further reduction in the MPFC with the development of MNE, which might explain the reduced performance of these patients on neurocognitive tests. Serum creatinine level might be associated with impairment of the DMN in patients with ESRD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014


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