, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 43-49

Growing bone cysts in long-term hemodialysis

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All patients with chronic renal failure undergoing hemodialysis for more than 10 years in the university hospitals of Leuven were selected for this study. The medical records and radiographs of these 21 patients were studied retrospectively. Skeletal surveys were examined for the presence and location of subchondral cysts. The predialysis films and the films taken after 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of dialysis were reviewed. Subchondral cysts that grew in size and number were found in the wrist, humeral head, hip, and patella. Accurate measurements were made of cysts in the wrist and compared with a control group. In the dialysis group, cystic involvement of the wrist was more common and the size and number of the cysts were larger. Soft tissue swelling was seen in the dialysis group but not in controls. Soft tissue swelling was assessed on shoulder radiographs by measuring the acromiohumeral distance (ACD) and in the knees by ultrasonic measurement of synovial thickness [25]. In 11 patients synovial or bone biopsies or aspirated synovial fluid were available. All these patients had swollen joints and multiple subchondral periarticular cysts. Amyloid deposition was found in ten of these patients, and this proved to be composed of B2 microglobulins in seven (Table 1).