A rationale for intradialytic exercise training as standard clinical practice in ESRD

Am J Kidney Dis. 2005 May;45(5):912-6. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2005.01.030.


The purpose of this article is to present a rationale for intradialytic exercise training in patients with end-stage renal disease based on the empirical evidence to date and determine whether this evidence has translated into enhanced renal rehabilitation practices throughout the world. According to the published literature, intradialytic exercise improves exercise adoption and adherence in this cohort, is performed safely, and is feasible to administer. Moreover, intradialytic exercise can improve solute removal, dialysis adequacy, intradialytic protein synthesis, muscular strength, peak oxygen consumption, nutritional status, and quality of life. Despite these findings, there currently are no policies or position stands regarding exercise prescription for hemodialysis patients in Australia. According to a telephone survey we conducted, intradialytic exercise programs are essentially nonexistent in this country. However, such programs are being implemented successfully as standard clinical practice in dialysis units in Germany, and there is reason to believe that this practice can be expanded throughout the world. At present, additional research is indicated. There is a lack of large-scale, robustly designed, randomized, controlled trials of intradialytic exercise training. Such research is needed to conclusively show the clinical importance of intradialytic exercise for hemodialysis patients, which may influence current standard clinical practice among nephrologists and, as such, improve the health and quality of life of this vulnerable cohort.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Australia
  • Case Management
  • Europe
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Exercise*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / rehabilitation*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Muscular Atrophy / etiology
  • Muscular Atrophy / prevention & control
  • Patient Compliance
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Safety
  • United States