Robot-assisted gait training improves brachial–ankle pulse wave velocity and peak aerobic capacity in subacute stroke patients with totally dependent ambulation: Randomized controlled trial


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objective:Brachial–ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) evaluates arterial stiffness and also predicts early outcome in stroke patients. The objectives of this study were to investigate arterial stiffness of subacute nonfunctional ambulatory stroke patients and to compare the effects of robot-assisted gait therapy (RAGT) combined with rehabilitation therapy (RT) on arterial stiffness and functional recovery with those of RT alone.Method:The RAGT group (N = 30) received 30 minutes of robot-assisted gait therapy and 30 minutes of conventional RT, and the control group (N = 26) received 60 minutes of RT, 5 times a week for 4 weeks. baPWV was measured and calculated using an automated device. The patients also performed a symptom-limited graded exercise stress test using a bicycle ergometer, and parameters of cardiopulmonary fitness were recorded. Clinical outcome measures were categorized into 4 categories: activities of daily living, balance, ambulatory function, and paretic leg motor function and were evaluated before and after the 4-week intervention.Results:Both groups exhibited significant functional recovery in all clinical outcome measures after the 4-week intervention. However, peak aerobic capacity, peak heart rate, exercise tolerance test duration, and baPWV improved only in the RAGT group, and the improvements in baPWV and peak aerobic capacity were more noticeable in the RAGT group than in the control group.Conclusion:Robot-assisted gait therapy combined with conventional rehabilitation therapy represents an effective method for reversing arterial stiffness and improving peak aerobic capacity in subacute stroke patients with totally dependent ambulation. However, further large-scale studies with longer term follow-up periods are warranted to measure the effects of RAGT on secondary prevention after stroke.

    loading  Loading Related Articles