BACKGROUND--Peripheral neuropathy and alterations in diaphragmatic muscle function are frequently caused by uraemia. Phrenic nerve function in patients with end stage renal failure, however, has not been examined to date. METHODS--An electrophysiological study of the phrenic nerve was performed to determine its possible involvement in 32 nondiabetic patients with end stage renal disease undergoing chronic haemodialysis. RESULTS--Seventeen patients had electrophysiological signs of peripheral neuropathy in at least one of the investigated nerves and 14 of the 17 showed pathological phrenic nerve latencies. Delayed phrenic nerve latencies correlated clearly with pathological peroneal nerve conduction velocities. CONCLUSIONS--Phrenic neuropathy is a frequent complication of uraemia.
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