Prevalence of and associations with reduced exercise capacity in peritoneal dialysis patients

Am J Kidney Dis. 2013 Nov;62(5):939-46. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.05.016. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Background: Exercise capacity is reduced in patients with end-stage renal disease on maintenance home peritoneal dialysis therapy, although the potential mechanisms and clinical implications remain unclear.

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting & participants: 95 ambulatory prevalent and incident peritoneal dialysis patients in a well-established renal dialysis center (mean age, 58.26 ± 12.6 [SD] years; 63% men; mean duration of peritoneal dialysis therapy, 3.2 ± 4.1 years).

Predictor: Estimated volume status using spectral bioelectrical impedance, echocardiography-derived hemodynamic parameters.

Outcome: Exercise capacity measured as peak oxygen consumption using symptom-limiting treadmill exercise testing.

Results: Exercise capacity was reduced in 96% of patients and severely reduced in 65%. Extracellular to intracellular fluid volume ratio showed the strongest correlation with reduced exercise capacity (R = -0.63; P < 0.001) and was superior to age, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (E:E' ratio), lean tissue mass index, and hemoglobin and albumin levels in predicting exercise intolerance.

Limitations: Relatively small sample size and echocardiogram that was performed only at rest.

Conclusions: There was a strong relationship between body extracellular to intracellular fluid volume ratio and exercise capacity in peritoneal dialysis patients. These findings provide new evidence for a connection between fluid distribution, muscle mass, and exercise capacity. Therapeutic strategies targeting fluid status and muscle mass may improve the exercise capacity of patients on peritoneal dialysis therapy.

Keywords: Exercise capacity; end-stage renal disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Peritoneal Dialysis*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure / physiology
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology