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Clin Nephrol. 2013 Jan;79 Suppl 1:S28-33.

High-tone external muscle stimulation in endstage renal disease: effects on quality of life in patients with peripheral neuropathy.

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KfH Kidney Center, Würzburg, Germany.



High-tone external muscle stimulation (HTEMS) has been shown to ameliorate painful peripheral neuropathy of dialysis patients. We hypothesized that HTEMS could also lead to improved parameters of health-related quality of life (HRQOL).


25 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients (17 men/8 women, mean age 62.2 ± 14.2 years) were enrolled for the study. For evaluation of HRQOL the short form SF-36 was used. In addition, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the pain severity score were investigated. HTEMS was applied intradialytically for 1 hour, 3 times a week. Its effect was evaluated just before the beginning and both 6 and 12 weeks after onset of this study.


SF-36 showed a significant effect of time for the subscales of physical role functioning and social functioning. A marginal significant positive trend could be observed for physical functioning. The pain symptom questionnaire sum scores improved significantly after 12 weeks. The HADS did not change significantly.


The data indicate that intradialytic HTEMS treatment of ESRD patients with peripheral neuropathy ameliorates various components of physical health.

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