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.
1Department of Sports Physiology and 2Department of Cardiology, University of Vienna, Vienna, AUSTRIA; 3Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Health, Kinesiology & Sports Studies, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, TX; 4Institute of Sports Sciences and 5Department of Internal Medicine Division of Cardiology, University of Graz, Graz, AUSTRIA; and 6Center for Cardiac Rehabilitation, Bad Schallerbach, AUSTRIA
Address for correspondence: Serge P. von Duvillard, Ph.D., Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Health, Kinesiology & Sports Studies, Texas A&M University-Commerce, P. O. Box 3011, Commerce, TX 75429-3011; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted for publication March 2004.
Accepted for publication August 2004.