Intradialytic neuromuscular electrical stimulation reduces DNA damage in chronic kidney failure patients: a randomized controlled trial

Biomarkers. 2018 Jul;23(5):495-501. doi: 10.1080/1354750X.2018.1452049. Epub 2018 Mar 23.


Background: Chronic kidney failure (CKF) patients on renal replacement therapies exhibit elevated levels of DNA lesions and this is directly related to high mortality.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on genomic damage in CKF patients on conventional haemodialysis (HD).

Methods: Twenty-one patients with CKF on HD were randomized into control (CG =10) or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMESG = 11) groups. NMES was applied on the quadriceps muscle during the HD session, three times a week, for 8 weeks in NMESG. DNA damage in blood was evaluated by the alkaline comet assay prior to follow-up, after 4 and 8 weeks of intervention.

Results: Intradialytic NMES in CKF patients induced a significant decrease in DNA damage after four [49.9 (3.68) vs 101.5 (6.53); p = 0.000] than eight [19.9 (2.07) vs 101.5 (6.53); p = 0.000] weeks compared to baseline. Genomic damage was also significantly less after four [NMESG: 49.9 (3.68) vs CG: 92.9 (12.61); p = 0.001] than after eight [NMESG: 19.9 (2.07) vs CG: 76.4 (11.15); p = 0.000] weeks compared to CG.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates for the first time that intradialytic NMES is able to reduce DNA damage in blood of CKF patients.

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; DNA damage; electric stimulation therapy; haemodialysis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage*
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quadriceps Muscle
  • Renal Replacement Therapy
  • Time Factors