© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Background: Radio-cephalic arteriovenous fistula (RCAVF) is the gold standard vascular access for end-stage chronic kidney disease patients. Exercises after arteriovenous fistula (AVF) creation improve maturation. No articles are published regarding neuromuscular electrostimulation (NMES) in AVF maturation. Objectives: To assess the usefulness of a NMES programme on RCAVF maturation process. Methods: An 8-week single-centre prospective study. Two groups were established: control group (CG): underwent usual RCAVF forearm exercises and electrostimulation group (ESG): underwent RCAVF NMES programme. Handgrip (HG) measurement, preoperative Doppler ultrasonography (DUS) parameters, clinical and DUS maturation as well as surgical complications were assessed. Results: Thirty-six patients (54% men). Mean age 67.9 ± 14.3 years; 12 ESG and 24 CG. Demographic data, comorbidities, medical treatment, HG and DUS measurement at baseline were similar. HG increased in both groups at the end of the study (CG 24.5 ± 9.5 vs. 26.1 ± 10.1 kg, p 0.048; ESG 25.8 ± 10.3 vs. 26.3 ± 11.6 kg, p 0.644). RCAVF forearm vein diameter (CG 3.1 ± 0.7 vs. 5.7 ± 1.1 mm; ESG 2.9 ± 0.8 vs. 6.1 ± 1.7 mm) and humeral artery blood flow rate (CG 110.5 ± 20.7 vs. 1053.4 ± 510.7 ml/min; ESG 118.2 ± 31.6 vs. 954.1 ± 542.2 ml/min) statistically increased for both groups. A significant increase in clinical maturation in ESG (62.5 vs. 91.7%, p 0.046) at 8 weeks was observed. Four patients in each group developed juxta-anastomotic stenosis and were surgically repaired. No adverse NMES effects were registered. Conclusions: NMES of forearm muscles is a safe and effective technique to improve RCAVF maturation and constitutes a novel alternative to forearm isometrics exercises. Nevertheless, further studies are required to confirm the potential effect of NMES in the vascular access maturation process.
- Chronic kidney disease
- Neuromuscular electrostimulation
- Radio-cephalic arteriovenous fistula