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J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2011 Jul-Sep;25(3):417-25.

Physical performance in kidney transplanted patients: a study on desert trekking.

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Nephrology, Dialysis, Renal Transplantation Unit, S. Orsola University Hospital, Bologna, Italy.


Physical performance of kidney transplanted patients in challenging environments, such as deserts, has been poorly studied. Six kidney transplanted (T: 5 males, 1 female; 45±6 yrs) and 8 control (C: 5 males, 3 females; 49±13 yrs) subjects participated in a 5-day desert trek. Blood pressure, hydration status (Height2/Rz by bioimpedance), heart rate, energy expenditure (by SenseWear Pro Armband) and walking velocities were recorded during each daily trekking stage (GPS-assisted wearable devices). Systo-diastolic blood pressure did not differ between C (119/77±12/8 mmHg) and T (121/77±10/6 mmHg) groups throughout the study. The hydration status was stable from day 1 (Ht2/Rz: 64±13 cm2/Ohm in T and 59±12 cm2/Ohm in C subjects) to day 5 (66±11 cm2/Ohm in T and 61±13 cm2/Ohm in C subjects) in both groups. Two patients on steroid treatment showed a relative hyperhydration. Mean heart rate did not differ between T (135±10 bpm) and C (136±5 bpm) subjects throughout the study, although a reduction from day 1 to day 5 was observed in T subjects only (p<0.05 vs C group). No differences were found between T and C group in walking velocity (1.7±0.6 km/h in T and 1.7±0.5 km/h in C group); mean intensity of physical activity was 3.4±0.5 METs in T and 3.3±0.6 METs in C group during each trekking stage. Negligible differences were observed in cardiovascular, metabolic and hydration status adaptations to desert trekking between selected T and C individuals. T subjects with creatinine clearance > 55 ml/min showed acceptable physical performance and acclimatization to desert environment, suggesting a good long-term outcome of transplantation.

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