Italian researchers found restless legs syndrome in one third of patients with stage III-IV disease.


STOCKHOLM—Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common affliction among patients with stage III-IV CKD, an Italian study found.

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The estimated prevalence of RLS in the general population and the hemodialysis population is 5%-15% and 12%-62%, the researchers noted. Little data are available regarding RLS prevalence in patients with CKD stages III-IV.


Investigators at the University of Pisa administered a questionnaire to 40 CKD stage III-IV and 72 hemodialysis patients. The first part of the questionnaire asked for demographic data, general medical and renal disease history, and dialytic and pharmacologic treatment. The second part looked for the presence of the minimal International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) criteria for the diagnosis of RLS.


Based on IRLSSG criteria, RLS was present in 35% of the CKD patients and 43% of the hemodialysis patients. In addition, 42% of hemodialysis patients with RLS were seriously affected by the disorder, the researchers stated.


In a separate study of 41 hemodialysis patients presented at the conference, researchers at the University of Thessaly in Greece showed that those with and without RLS do not differ significantly with respect to functional capacity, quality of life, and body and muscle composition.


Of the 41 patients, 11 (27%) had RLS based on IRLSSG criteria, the investigators reported.


Findings were presented here at the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association 2008 congress.