Exercise Capacity and Functional Performance in Heart Failure Patients Supported by a Left Ventricular Assist Device at Discharge From Inpatient Rehabilitation

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Adequate physical and functional performance is an important prerequisite for renewed participation and integration in self-determined private and (where appropriate) professional lives following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. During cardiac rehabilitation (CR), individually adapted exercise programs aim to increase exercise capacity and functional performance. A retrospective analysis of cardiopulmonary exercise capacity and functional performance in LVAD patients at discharge from a cardiac rehabilitation program was conducted. The results from 68 LVAD patients (59 males, 9 females; 55.9 ± 11.7 years; 47 HVAD, 2 MVAD, 15 HeartMate II, 4 HeartMate 3, and 4 different implanting centers) were included in the analysis. Exercise capacity was assessed using a cardiopulmonary exercise test on a bicycle ergometer (ramp protocol; 10 W/min). The 6-min walk test was used to determine functional performance. At discharge from CR (53 ± 17 days after implantation), the mean peak work load achieved was 62.2 ± 19.3 W (38% of predicted values) or 0.79 ± 0.25 W/kg body weight. The mean cardiopulmonary exercise capacity (relative peak oxygen uptake) was 10.6 ± 5.3 mL/kg/min (37% of predicted values). The 6-min walk distance improved significantly during CR (325 ± 106 to 405 ± 77 m; P < 0.01). No adverse events were documented during CR. The results show that, even following LVAD implantation, cardiopulmonary exercise capacity remains considerably restricted. In contrast, functional performance, measured by the 6-min walk distance, reaches an acceptable level. Light everyday tasks seem to be realistically surmountable for patients, making discharge from inpatient rehabilitation possible. Long-term monitoring is required in order to evaluate the situation and how it develops further.

ZeitschriftArtificial organs
Seiten (von - bis)22-30
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2018

ID: 3030403


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