MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 34 chronic renal disease patients (stage 3 and 4) were recruited in a randomized controlled trial. Handgrip exercise was performed for 8 weeks in the intervention group. Handgrip-strength measurement and distal forearm cephalic vein diameter of a non-dominant hand with and without tourniquet was recorded (measurement is taken 1 cm proximal to the radial styloid).
RESULTS: After 8 weeks, the mean cephalic vein diameter in the intervention group increased from 1.77 and 1.97 mm to 2.15 and 2.43 mm, without and with a tourniquet, respectively (p < 0.05). There is also a significant change in the mean diameter of distal forearm cephalic vein (p < 0.05) in the intervention group when measured in both the absence (mean change 0.39 ± 0.06 mm vs 0.01 ± 0.02 mm) and the presence of tourniquet (mean change 0.47 ± 0.07 mm vs 0.01 ± 0.01 mm).
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that non-invasive handgrip exercise can increase in the diameter of the distal forearm cephalic vein, thereby increasing the rate of successful arteriovenous fistula creation.