Evaluation of somatosensory pathway by short latency evoked potentials in patients with end-stage renal disease maintained on hemodialysis.
Somatosensory evoked potentials and peripheral nerve conduction velocity were studied on 10 patients with end-stage renal failure maintained on hemodialysis treatment. None of the patients had symptomatic neuropathy and the only abnormal finding on neurological examination was absent ankle jerk in 7 of the 10 patients. Nerve conduction velocities and intercomponent conduction times of the somatosensory evoked potential were determined using electrical stimulation of nerve trunks and mechanical stimulation of the finger. Nerve ending conduction times was determined using a combination of the two stimuli and found to be abnormal in 8 patients. All 10 patients had slowed sensory conduction velocities at some segment of the tested peripheral nerve. Intercomponent time differences in the somatosensory evoked potentials could not be defined in the majority of our patients due to the absence of many of the components, making it impossible to distinguish whether the changes in somatosensory evoked potentials were due to impaired peripheral input, or to changes in the somatosensory pathway.