Intradialytic cycling in children and young adults on chronic hemodialysis

Fabio Paglialonga, Amalia Lopopolo, Rosalia Viviana Scarfia, Silvia Consolo, Maria Albina Galli, Simona Salera, Maria Rosa Grassi, Anna Brivio, Alberto Edefonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Intradialytic exercise has been poorly investigated in pediatric patients on chronic hemodialysis (HD). The aim of this study was to assess the acceptability, safety and efficacy of intradialytic exercise in children and young adults on HD. Methods: The intradialytic exercise program consisted of 30-min sessions of intra-HD exercise using a cycloergometer two to three times a week for 3 months. Study endpoints were the 6-min walking test (6MWT) distances, lung function, number of stands in the chair test, lower extremity strength (LES), anthropometry, dietary intake, dialysis adequacy, incidence of symptomatic sessions, biochemistry and left ventricular mass index. Results: Ten pediatric patients with a median age of 15.3 (range 9.1-24.2) years were enrolled. Two of these underwent kidney transplantation; the remaining eight completed the study and adapted well to the exercise program. At the end of the 3-month study period, all patients had significantly improved results for the 6MWT (+4.9 %; p <0.05), chair test (+19 %; p <0.05) and LES (+29.3 %; p <0.05). Pre-HD albumin, creatinine and total protein levels and post-HD creatinine levels had also significantly improved. The incidence of symptomatic sessions did not increase during the study period. No adverse events occurred. Conclusions: Based on our results, we conclude that a 30-min exercise program of intradialytic cycling is feasible for the majority of pediatric patients on chronic HD and will be well accepted. Such an exercise program can lead to a significant improvement in the exercise capacity of this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • 6-min Walking test
  • Exercise capacity
  • Intradialytic cycling
  • Intradialytic exercise
  • Pediatric hemodialysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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