Exercise Training Improves Ventilatory Efficiency in Patients With a Small Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED STUDY

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Purpose:To investigate the effects of exercise training on ventilatory efficiency and physiological responses to submaximal exercise in subjects with small abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).Methods:Sixty-five male patients (72.3 ± 7.0 years) were randomized to exercise training (n = 33) or usual care group (n = 32). Exercise subjects participated in a training groups for 3 mo. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing was performed before and after the study period and peak O2, the ventilatory threshold (VT), the oxygen uptake efficiency slope (OUES), and the E2/CO2 slope were identified. Baseline work rates at VT were matched to examine cardiopulmonary responses after training.Results:Significant interactions indicating improvements before and after training in the exercise group were noted for time (P < .01), O2 (P < .01), and work rate (P < .01) at the VT. At peak effort, significant interactions were noted for time (P < .01) and work rate (P < .01), while borderline significance was noted for absolute (P = .07) and relative (P = .04) O2. Significant interactions were observed for the OUES both when using all exercise data (P = .04) and when calculated up to the VT (P < .01). For the E2/CO2 slope, significance was noted only when calculated up to the VT (P = .04). After training, heart rate, E, O2 and respiratory exchange ratio were significantly attenuated for the same baseline work rate only in the exercise group (all P < .01).Conclusions:Exercise training improves ventilatory efficiency in patients with small AAA. In addition, patients who exercised exhibited less demanding cardiorespiratory responses to submaximal effort.

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