Functional training added to intracialytic cycling

Dialysis Research

Functional training added to intradialytic cycling

Functional training added to intradialytic cycling lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and improves dialysis adequacy: a randomized controlled trial

Background: Exercise has various positive effects on hemodialysis patients. 

However, there is no clear evidence which type of exercise yields better results. This study aimed to determine the effects of guided functional training added to the intradialytic cycling on dialysis adequacy and biochemical parameters in hemodialysis patients. Additionally, we aimed to investigate if patients could transfer functional exercise to an unsupervised home environment and retain gained improvements. 

Methods: Randomization was done to a functional training intervention group (INT) (n = 20) or intradialytic cycling control group (CON) (n = 20). The INT attended a pre-dialysis functional training in the first 8 weeks. In the second 8 weeks, they performed functional exercises at unsupervised home environment on non-dialysis days. During the whole study, both groups participated in the intradialytic cycling program. 

Results: Both groups demonstrated a significant increase in dialysis adequacy (Kt/V) in the eight (0.15, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.24; p = 0.003 for INT and 0.21, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.3; p < 0.001 for CON) and the 16th study week (0.13, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.24; p = 0.017 for INT and 0.13, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.22; p = 0.013 for CON) compared to their baseline values with no significant between-group differences. 

At week eight, the total cholesterol was significantly lowered in the INT (− 0.34 mmol/L, 95% CI − 0.6 to − 0.07; p = 0.016) and remained lower at week 16 (− 0.32 mmol/L, 95% CI − 0.64 to − 0.01; p = 0.049) with no significant changes in the CON. 

Low-density lipoprotein levels in the INT were significantly reduced after 8 weeks (− 0.35 mmol/L, 95% CI − 0.64 to − 0.06; p = 0.022) and remained reduced after 16 weeks (− 0.28 mmol/L, 95% CI − 0.52 to − 0.03; p = 0.030). There were no significant differences found for albumin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein, and hemoglobin in both groups. 

Conclusions: We demonstrated that functional training added to intradialytic cycling improved lipid profile and dialysis adequacy. Additionally, the effects of the unsupervised, home-based program were preserved during the second study phase. This study supports the assumption that combined training is more effective compared to solely intradialytic exercise. 

In summary, we demonstrated that 8 weeks of functional training added to intradialytic cycling improved dialysis adequacy and lipid profile.

Additionally, the effects of the subsequent unsupervised, home-based program in the functional training group were preserved during the second phase when the transfer of mastered exercise routines to the home environment was done.

These data give evidence on the novel exercise prescription strategy by which combined pre-dialysis functional exercise training and intradialytic exercise may increase small solute clearance and, at the same time, reduce cardiovascular risks by improving lipid profile in patients with


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