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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
Clinical Studies: Clinical Investigations

Influence of post-surgery time after cardiac transplantation on exercise responses

MERCIER, JACQUES; VILLE, NATHALIE; WINTREBERT, PIERRE; CAILLAUD, CORINNE; VARRAY, ALAIN; ALBAT, BERNARD; THÉVENET, ANDRÉ; PRÉFAUT, CHRISTIAN

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Abstract

To test the hypothesis that exercise response changes with time after cardiac transplantation, we investigated the cardiorespiratory responses of nine orthotopic heart transplant patients (52.4 ± 2 yr) during graded exercise tests (30 W·3 min-1) done at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-surgery. At peak exercise, 1) oxygen uptake per kg of body weight(˙VO2), minute ventilation (˙VE) and oxygen pulse (O2 pulse) did not change significantly between 1 and 12 months post-surgery; 2) transplanted heart rate (HRt) and delta heart rate (peak exercise heart rate - resting heart rate) increased significantly over time (P < 0.01; P < 0.05) with a marked increase between 1 and 3 months(P < 0.05); and (3) a significant negative correlation existed between O2 pulse and HRt (r = -0.36, P < 0.05), whereas no correlation was found between delta heart rate and delta˙VO2 (peak exercise ˙VO2 - resting ˙VO2, 1·min-1). During submaximal exercise, HRt increased significantly over time (P < 0.001); ˙VO2, ˙VE, and O2 pulse showed no significant change; and the˙VO2-HRt relationship shifted toward higher values of HRt. We conclude that, in the absence of formal physical training, the exercise response of denervated transplanted heart increases in relation to post-surgery time but does not affect oxygen uptake at submaximal and peak levels of exercise.

©1996The American College of Sports Medicine

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