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

Effect of High-Volume and -Intensity Endurance Training in Heart Transplant Recipients

POKAN, ROCHUS1; VON DUVILLARD, SERGE P.3; LUDWIG, JUTTA1; ROHRER, ANDREA1; HOFMANN, PETER4; WONISCH, MANFRED5; SMEKAL, GERHARD1; SCHMID, PETER6; PACHER, RICHARD2; BACHL, NORBERT1

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Abstract

Background: A recommended component of heart transplant recipients (HTR) is endurance-oriented exercise therapy. However, the trainability of HTR after transplantation is vague. We examined the effect of high-volume and -intensity exercise training on exercise performance in HTR, compared with HTR undergoing regular rehabilitation training, and sedentary healthy subjects (SHS).

Methods: We studied four groups of individuals; of those, three groups were HTR. Subjects were a regularly trained HTR group of denervated (HTR-D; N = 15), reinnervated (HTR-R; N = 26) hearts, a high-volume and -intensity endurance-training group (training time 7–20 h·wk−1; HTR-ET; N = 12), and a group of sedentary healthy subjects (SHS; N = 21). All participants performed cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

Results: The HTR-ET achieved a significantly higher performance (255 ± 47 W, V̇O2max of 45.2 ± 6.9 mL·kg−1·min−1) in contrast to all other groups (HTR-D: 119 ± 17 W, V̇O2max of 17.4 ± 4.5 mL·kg−1·min−1; HTR-R: 119 ± 17 W, V̇O2max of 16.9 ± 3.7 mL·kg−1·min−1; SHS: 184 ± 19 W, V̇O2max of 35.0 ± 6.9 mL·kg−1·min−1). The HR at maximal power output in the HTR-ET was 169 ± 17 bpm and similar to SHS (164 ± 17 bpm), but significantly higher than HTR-D (125 ± 16) and HTR-R (142 ± 10). Maximal lactate concentration (LAmax) of HTR-ET was 9.9 ± 2.2 mmol·L−1, comparable to SHS (9.2 ± 2.1 mmol·L−1), and significantly higher than HTR-D (5.5 ± 1.5 mmol·L−1) and HTR-R (5.1 ± 1.0 mmol·L−1).

Conclusions: Data suggest that HTR can perform high-volume and -intensity exercise training, reaching exercise performance comparable to or even exceeding values of sedentary or moderately trained healthy subjects.

©2004The American College of Sports Medicine

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