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Pediatr Nephrol. 2015 Feb;30(2):345-52. doi: 10.1007/s00467-014-2918-0. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Hemoconcentration: a major risk factor for neurological involvement in hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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Center for HUS Control, Prevention and Management, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via Commenda 9, 20122, Milan, Italy,



Shigatoxin-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome (STEC-HUS) is a common thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) in which central nervous system (CNS) involvement is responsible for the majority of deaths and for severe long-term sequelae. We have analyzed the role of hemoconcentration in disease severity.


This was a retrospective review of the records and laboratory data at presentation of all patients with STEC-HUS cases (n = 61) over a 10-year period. The patients were grouped into three severity classes: group A, comprising patients who did not require dialysis; group B, patients who were dialyzed without CNS involvement; group C, patients with CNS involvement.


Patients with CNS involvement (group C) had a higher mean hemoglobin level (11.2 ± 2.3 g/dL) than those of group A or B ( 9.4 ± 2.1 and 7.5 ± 1.9 g/dL, respectively; p < 0.0001). We also observed that the higher the initial hemoglobin level, the more severe the long-term renal damage (p < 0.007).


In patients with STEC-HUS, hemoconcentration and hypovolemia may be responsible for more severe ischemic organ damage (both short and long term) at disease onset, and these signs should be regarded as risk factors for CNS damage and for more severe TMA. Therefore, we recommend that hydration status should be actively monitored in HUS patients and that dehydration, when diagnosed, should be promptly corrected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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