The morphology of gastrocnemius muscles was examined in RFPs (renal failure patients) being\ud treated using HD (haemodialysis) and CAPD (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis). RFPs\ud (n=24) volunteered to participate in the present study. Twelve RFPs (five women and seven\ud men; mean age, 55 years) were undergoing CAPD treatment and 12 RFPs (two women and\ud ten men; mean age, 62 years) were undergoing HD treatment. Muscle biopsies from gastrocnemius\ud muscles were found not to differ (P>0.05) in fibre type distribution, MyHC (myosin heavy\ud chain) expression or fibre CSA (cross-sectional area) between the two groups. There were,\ud however, significant differences (P<0.05) in CC/F (capillary contact/fibre), C/F (capillary to\ud fibre ratio) and cytochrome c oxidase activity. The HD group had 33% more CC/F, with a\ud 19% higher C/F and 33% greater cytochrome c activity in glycolytic fibres (II) than the CAPD\ud group. There were no apparent differences in age, gender, co-morbidity, self-reported physical\ud activity or physical functioning between the two groups, which could account for the difference in\ud muscle capillarity between the groups. The HD patients were, however, administered heparin as\ud a routine part of the dialysis therapy. The possibility is discussed that heparin in combination with\ud mild anaemia and acidosis may have augmented angiogenesis in the HD patients
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