BACKGROUND Patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) often develop cerebral disease complications. Furthermore, cerebral regional saturation of oxygen (rSO2) was previously reported to be significantly lower in HD patients than in healthy subjects. We aimed to identify the factors affecting the cerebral rSO2 in HD patients. METHODS Fifty-four HD patients (38 men and 16 women; mean age, 67.7 ± 1.2 years, HD duration, 6.5 ± 1.9 years) were recruited. Cerebral rSO2 was monitored at the forehead before HD using an INVOS 5100C (Covidien Japan, Tokyo, Japan). RESULTS The rSO2 levels were significantly lower in HD patients compared with healthy controls (49.5 ± 1.7% vs. 68.9 ± 1.6%, p <0.001). Multiple regression analysis showed that cerebral rSO2 independently associated with pH (standardized coefficient: -0.35), HD duration (standardized coefficient: -0.33), and serum albumin concentration (standardized coefficient: 0.28). Furthermore, the rSO2 was significantly lower in HD patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), compared with patients without DM (46.8 ± 1.7% vs. 52.1 ± 1.8%, p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS In HD patients, cerebral rSO2 was affected by multiple factors, including pH, HD duration, and serum albumin concentration. Furthermore, this is the first report describing significantly lower levels of rSO2 in HD patients with DM than in those without DM.