Exercise training has emerged as a potential therapeutic strategy to counteract the decline in physical function and aerobic capacity in pediatric rheumatic disease.
We report for the first time on the effects of exercise training in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).
A 15-yr-old boy with JSLE and APS treated with warfarin, azathioprine, and prednisone underwent a 12-wk aerobic exercise training program to improve his physical capacity and functioning. Before and after the 12-wk exercise program, the patient was submitted to incremental cardiopulmonary tests to determine V˙O2peak, peak and submaximal exercise intensity, and time to exhaustion. In addition, a 6-min square-wave test was performed for assessing metabolic parameters. Functioning was assessed by using the visual analog scale. Laboratory parameters of inflammation were also assessed at baseline and 48 h after the last training session.
All the cardiopulmonary parameters (e.g., V˙O2max = +36.0%, time to exhaustion = +67.8%, peak exercise intensity = +16.7%) and the metabolic cost of movement (e.g., energy expenditure = −28.3% to −33.3%, V˙O2 = −29.3% to −33.4%) were improved. Both disease activity and cumulative damage scores did not change after the intervention, and no evidence of exercise-induced exacerbation of inflammation was observed. Visual analog scale scores were also improved according to the patients’ evaluation (before intervention = 8 vs after intervention = 10), parents’ evaluation (before intervention = 8 vs after intervention = 10), and physicians’ evaluation (before intervention = 6 vs after intervention = 9).
This is the first evidence that a 12-wk supervised aerobic training program can be safe and effective in improving aerobic conditioning and physical function in a patient with JSLE and APS. In light of these findings, the therapeutic effects of exercise training in pediatric rheumatic diseases merit further investigations.
1Pediatric Rheumatology Unit, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, BRAZIL; 2School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, BRAZIL; and 3Rheumatology Division, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, BRAZIL
Address for correspondence: Clovis Artur Silva, Ph.D., M.D., Rua Araioses, 152/81 – Vila Madalena, São Paulo - SP - Brazil, CEP – 05442-010; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted for publication January 2011.
Accepted for Publication May 2011.