Progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass (muscle wasting) is a frequent complication in dialysis patients. Common uremic signs and symptoms such as insulin-resistance, increase in glucocorticoid activity, metabolic acidosis, malnutrition, inflammation and dialysis per se contribute to muscle wasting by modulating proteolytic intracellular mechanisms (ubiquitin-proteasome system, activation of caspase-3 and IGF-1/PI3K/Akt pathway). Since muscle wasting is associated with an increase in mortality, bone fractures and worsening in life quality, a prompt and personalised diagnostic and therapeutic approach seems to be essential in dialysis patients. At present, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), computed tomography (CT), dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), impedance analysis, bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) and anthropometric measurements are the main tools used to assess skeletal muscle mass. Aerobic and anaerobic training programmes and treatment of uremic complications reduce muscle wasting and increase muscle strength in uremic patients. The present review analyses the most recent data about the physiopathology, diagnosis, therapy and future perspectives of treatment of muscle wasting in dialysis patients.
Full text of the article is available in Italian.