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Transplant Direct. 2015 Oct 19;1(9):e36. doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000000546. eCollection 2015 Oct.

Renal Function in Kidney and Liver Transplant Recipients After A 130-km Road Cycling Race.

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Nephrology and Dialysis, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy.
Isokinetic Medical Group, Bologna, Italy.
ANED Sport, Milano, Italy.
Nephrology and Dialysis, S. Orsola Hospital, Bologna, Italy.
Laboratory Analysis, S. Orsola Hospital, Bologna, Italy.
Department of Biomedical & Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Italian National Transplant Centre, Rome, Italy.



A few patients, after receiving solid organ transplantation, return to performing various sports and competitions; however, at present, data no study had evaluated the effects of endurance cycling races on their renal function.


Race times and short form (36) health survey questionnaires of 10 kidney transplant recipients (KTR) and 8 liver transplant recipients (LTR) transplanted recipients involved in a road cycling race (130 km) were compared with 35 healthy control subjects (HCS), also taking laboratory blood and urine tests the day before the race, at the end of the race, and 18 to 24 hours after competing.


The 3 groups showed similar race times (KTR, 5 hours 59 minutes ± 0 hours 39 minutes; LTR, 6 hours 20 minutes ± 1 hour 11 minutes; HCS, 5 hours 40 minutes ± 1 hour 28 minutes), similar short form (36) health survey scores, and similar trend of laboratory parameters which returned to baseline after 18 to 24 hours. After the race, there was an increase in creatinine (0.24 mg/dL; effect size [ES] = 0.78; P < 0.001), urea (22 mg/dL; ES = 1.42; P < 0.001), and a decrease of estimated glomerular filtration rate (-17 mL/min; ES = 0.85; P < 0.001). The increase of blood uric acid was more remarkable in HCS and KTR (2.3 mg/dL; ES = 1.39; P < 0.001). The KTR showed an increase of microalbuminuria (167.4 mg/L; ES = 1.20; P < 0.001) and proteinuria (175 mg/mL; ES = 0.97; P < 0.001) similar to LTR (microalbuminuria: 176.0 mg/L; ES = 1.26; P < 0.001; proteinuria: 213 mg/mL; ES = 1.18; P < 0.001), with high individual variability. The HCS had a nonsignificant increase of microalbuminuria (4.4 mg/L; ES = 0.03; P = 0.338) and proteinuria (59 mg/mL; ES = 0.33; P = 0.084).


Selected and well-trained KTR and LTR patients can participate to an endurance cycling race showing final race times and temporary modifications of kidney function similar to those of HCS group, despite some differences related to baseline clinical conditions and pharmacological therapies. Patients involved in this study represent the upper limit of performance currently available for transplant recipients and cannot be considered representative of the entire transplanted population.

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