Pilot study of pedalling during a haemodialysis session

Andrew Davenport (Professor of Dialysis & ICU Nephrology, UCL Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Free Hospital, University College London) has supplied a brief article on a research project in which a number of our patients took part:

“Kidney dialysis patients are at an increased risk of losing muscle strength. Physical inactivity is now recognised as a major cause of muscle wasting in dialysis patients. It is unclear as to what and how much exercise is required to show benefit. We therefore performed a pilot study of pedalling during a haemodialysis session.

We conducted a study at the Edgware dialysis centre and just over half the patients fulfilled our study entry criteria, as who could exercise during the dialysis session. 18 patients were recruited for the study, and they underwent a progressive submaximal individualised cycling exercise, 3 times a week during the haemodialysis session for 4 months using bed-cycle ergometers.

13 (72.2%) patients completed the exercise programme, average age 64 years and the distance patients could walk in 6-mins increased significantly, as did both hand grip strength and pinch strength. We compared this with 21 control patients, matched for muscle mass, comorbidity and frailty. Muscle strength did not change in the control group.

Conclusion: The majority of dialysis centre patients met our exercise study entry criteria and could potentially benefit from cycling during haemodialysis. We found that muscle function and strength improved after a 4-month, thrice weekly cycling exercise programme.

This work follows on from a previous study which was reported (on pages 10 and 11) in the RFHKPA Newsletter of July 2017. To see the Newsletter, please click on the link below:

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