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Seven months of aerobic intradialytic exercise training can prevent muscle loss in haemodialysis patients: an ultrasonography study

journal contribution
posted on 07.10.2021, 11:38 by Argyro A Krase, Gerasimos Terzis, Christoforos D Giannaki, Aggeliki N Stasinaki, Thomas J Wilkinson, Alice C Smith, Constantinos Zorz, Chrisitna Karatzaferi, Ioannis Stefanidis, Giorgos K Sakkas


This study aimed to evaluate the effects of 7-month intradialytic exercise training (IDE) on vastus lateralis (VL) muscle architecture, functional capacity and quality of life in stable haemodialysis (HD) patients.


44 HD patients were randomly assigned into an Exercise Group (EG = 21), which they received 7 months of IET, at 60% of pre-assessed maximum aerobic power, 3/week) or into a Control Group (CG = 23, no exercise). VL architecture was evaluated with ultrasonography, functional capacity was assessed using a series of functional tests (6 min walking test, 5 repetitions sit-to-stand, sit-to-stand 60 s, handgrip strength), and maximal aerobic power determined with a modified version of the Åstrand test. Quality of life and fatigue levels were evaluated using validated questionnaires.


VL fascicle angle and length did not change significantly in both groups (P > 0.05). Muscle thickness decreased in CG (P = 0.02) while it was fully preserved in the EG. Functional capacity increased only in the EG (6 min walking test 15.79 ± 12.35%, P < 0.001; max aerobic power 26.36 ± 1.24%, P < 0.001; STS-60rep: 10.23 ± 1.60%, P < 0.000; hand grip strength: 5.14 ± 28.30%, P < 0.02).


Intradialytic aerobic exercise training, improves functional capacity and prevents thigh muscle mass loss in HD patients. It is evident that muscle ultrasonography could play a pivotal role in assessing muscle quality changes in haemodialysis patients. A higher level of training intensity or combination with resistance exercises may be required to further improve anabolism and influence muscle architecture in this patient population.

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Author affiliation

Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

Published in

International Urology and Nephrology


Springer Verlag





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