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Muscle building critical for kidney care

Tuesday August 7th, 2018

Large muscles could benefit people with chronic kidney disease, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Leicester, UK, found that patients with large muscles had better physical function, walking ability, and strength, which can compensate for the lack of muscle quality.

Writing in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, the team says its findings suggest that it does not matter how much fat or fibrosis is contained within a muscle if it is large enough.

When fat or fibrosis gets into the muscle, it can stop it working properly and can affect muscle metabolism and cause inflammation to the cells.

Dr Tom Wilkinson and Professor Alice Smith from the University of Leicester’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, and Leicester’s Hospitals, tested whether muscle quality was reduced when fat or fibrosis levels increased among 61 non-dialysis CKD patients.

They used 2D ultrasound scans of the rectus femoris muscle of the quadriceps, assessing physical function and strength using various tests such as walking tests, leg strength tests, walking speed, and chair stand tests.

They found that patients with greater overall body fat had more fat in the muscle, which resulted in lower muscle quality, but that the negative effects were reduced when the muscles themselves were larger.

Dr Wilkinson said: “In cases of kidney disease, poor muscle quality was correlated with poor physical performance. However, muscle size remains the largest predictor of physical function, even when muscle quality was taken into account.

“Therefore, in addition to the loss of muscle size, our study shows that muscle quality should be considered an important factor that may contribute to deficits in mobility and function in CKD. Interventions such as exercise, especially weight lifting type exercise as previously shown by our research, could improve both of these factors.”

Wilkinson TJ, Gould DW, Nixon DG et al. Quality over quantity? Association of skeletal muscle myosteatosis and myofibrosis on physical function in chronic kidney disease. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 22 June 2018; doi:10.1093/ndt/gfy139

https://academic.oup.com/ndt/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ndt/gfy139/5042971

Tags: Fitness | Internal Medicine | UK News

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