Cardiac Autonomic System Response to Submaximal Test in Children With Cerebral Palsy

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Abstract

Aim:

To describe the heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability at rest, during a submaximal treadmill test and at rest posttreadmill in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods:

Twenty children (6-11 years) with CP participated, who had Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I to III. The HR was monitored for 5 minutes seated, during a submaximal treadmill test, and after 5 minutes rest posttreadmill. Outcome variables were HR and the square root of the mean squared differences of successive differences between adjacent heart beats (RMSSD).

Results:

HR increased during the last stage of the treadmill test compared with rest. RMSSD was reduced during the last 2 minutes of the treadmill test compared with rest. The HR and RMSSD mean value at the second minute posttest were not significantly different from the pretreadmill rest value.

Interpretation:

The cardiac system in children with CP responded to the submaximal testing.

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