• Key Words;
  • Glucocorticoids;
  • muscle mass and function;
  • isokinetic training;
  • renal transplant patients

Abstract. Treatment with glucocorticoids causes wasting of proximal skeletal muscles. There is evidence that physical training improves muscle mass and strength in glucocorticoid-treated rats. Whether this is also true in humans is unknown. The present investigation was designed to establish in what respect moderate physical training may alter muscle mass and function as assessed quantitatively by computed tomography (CT) and with an isokinetic dynamometer (Cybex® II). Compared with matched controls, both female (n= 17) and male (n= 22) patients treated with prednisone (15±4 ± 6±6 mg die-1) had a lower mid-thigh muscle area of 20 and 45% and an increased mid-thigh fat/muscle ratio of 25 and 100%, respectively. The mean peak torque and the total work output of the thigh muscle were lower by 20–30% (n= 14). Fifty days of isokinetic training in six patients increased the thigh muscle area, decreased the thigh fat area and normalized the mean peak torque and total work output. Thus, glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting can be reversed by increasing physical activity.