Vascular Access Effects on Motor Performance and Anthropometric Indices of Upper Extremities

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A decrement of upper extremity motor performance is a concern with vascular access creation. We analyzed differences in handgrip strength, tapping test and anthropometric indices of arms with and without vascular access (N = 87) and compared them to bilateral differences in control subjects (N = 140). Fistula harboring arms had weaker grip strength than contralateral arms of 2.7 kg and this difference was statistically marginally larger than the difference between non-dominant and dominant arms in controls of 1.6 kg (mean difference 1.1 kg, P = 0.06). No difference in the magnitude of inferiority of fistula arms compared to control non-dominant arms was present in the tapping test. Absolute results of both motor tests on any side were significantly worse in dialysis patients. Although weaker and slower, fistula arms showed larger mean upper-arm and forearm circumferences of 0.4–0.6 cm. Our results show no significant negative effect of arteriovenous access on motor performance of upper extremities.

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