Aerobic Endurance Training Program Improves Exercise Performance in Lung Transplant Recipients*

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Study objective

To determine whether an aerobic endurance training program (AET) in comparison to normal daily activities improves exercise capacity in lung transplant recipients.

Patients and study design

Nine lung transplant recipients (12 +/- 6 months after transplant) were examined. All patients underwent incremental bicycle ergometry with the work rate increased in increments of 20 W every 3 min. Identical exercise tests were performed after 11 +/- 5 weeks of normal daily activities and then after a 6-week AET. The weekly aerobic training time increased from 60 min at the beginning to 120 min during the last week. Training intensity ranged from 30 to 60% of the maximum heart rate reserve.


Normal daily activities had no effect on exercise performance. The AET induced a significant decrease in resting minute ventilation from 14 +/- 5 to 11 +/- 3 L/min. At an identical, submaximal level of exercise, a significant decrease in minute ventilation from 47 +/- 14 L/min to 39 +/- 13 L/min and heart rate from 144 +/- 12 to 133 +/- 17 beats/min, before and after the AET, was noted. The increase in peak oxygen uptake after AET was statistically significant (1.13 +/- 0.32 to 1.26 +/- 0.27 L/min).


These data demonstrate that normal daily activities do not affect exercise performance in lung transplant recipients >or=to6 months after lung transplantation. An AET improves submaximal and peak exercise performance significantly. (CHEST 1998; 113:906-12)

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