Effect of isometric handgrip exercise on the size of cephalic veins

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These findings suggest that non-invasive handgrip exercise can increase in the diameter of the distal forearm cephalic vein, thereby increasing the rate of successful arteriovenous fistula creation” Kumar et al (2019).

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Proper vascular access is essential for the long-term survival of chronic haemodialysis patients. The preferred vascular access in terms of long-term function is the native arteriovenous fistula. The success of native arteriovenous fistula depends mainly on a sufficient vein diameter. Thus, any intervention that could increase vein diameter before arteriovenous fistula creation could improve its patency. We conduct a study to investigate the effect of local physical training, namely handgrip exercise, on the distal forearm cephalic vein diameter in patients with chronic renal disease.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 34 chronic renal disease patients (stage 3 and 4) were recruited in a randomized controlled trial. Handgrip exercise was performed for 8 weeks in the intervention group. Handgrip-strength measurement and distal forearm cephalic vein diameter of a non-dominant hand with and without tourniquet was recorded (measurement is taken 1 cm proximal to the radial styloid).

RESULTS: After 8 weeks, the mean cephalic vein diameter in the intervention group increased from 1.77 and 1.97 mm to 2.15 and 2.43 mm, without and with a tourniquet, respectively (p < 0.05). There is also a significant change in the mean diameter of distal forearm cephalic vein (p < 0.05) in the intervention group when measured in both the absence (mean change 0.39 ± 0.06 mm vs 0.01 ± 0.02 mm) and the presence of tourniquet (mean change 0.47 ± 0.07 mm vs 0.01 ± 0.01 mm). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that non-invasive handgrip exercise can increase in the diameter of the distal forearm cephalic vein, thereby increasing the rate of successful arteriovenous fistula creation.

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Reference:

Kumar A.L.S., Katheraveloo, K., Suryani Safri, L., Guo Hou, L., Hafiz Maliki, A., Md Idris, M.A. and Harunarashid, H. (2019) Effect of isometric handgrip exercise on the size of cephalic veins in patients with stage 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Vascular Access. October 4th. doi: 10.1177/1129729819879314. .

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