Evaluation of cardiopulmonary fitness in individuals with hemiparesis after cerebrovascular accident

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2011 Feb;96(2):140-7. doi: 10.1590/s0066-782x2011005000001. Epub 2011 Jan 7.
[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]


Background: Due to the hemiparesis, the assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness on individuals after cerebrovascular accident (CVA), using exercise tests with conventional protocols, has become a challenge.

Objective: Perform cardiopulmonary test (CPT) in hemiparetic patients to a pre-participation evaluation aimed at a careful prescription of aerobic exercise.

Methods: The study included eight individuals with chronic hemiparesis who underwent CPT performed with individualized ramp protocol, developed from information on the gait speed of individuals previously evaluated in the track test. We considered the proposal of inclination ranging from 0 to 10.0%, initial speed corresponding to 70.0% of comfortable walking speed rhythm and 40.0% higher than the maximum speed on the track test, expecting that the CPT with this gradual and steady increase in intensity, lasted from 6 to 8 minutes.

Results: In 100.0% of the sample, the reason for discontinuation was peripheral fatigue. The peak VO2 achieved was 20.6 ± 5.7 ml/kg.min. The threshold I was identified in all tests, standing at 82.64 ± 4.78% of peak HR and 73.31 ± 4.97% of peak VO2. The respiratory quotient (R) of the group was 0.96 ± 0.09, and three out of eight individuals (37.5%) reached R higher than 1.00, and the Threshold II was identified in these individuals. We found positive relationships between CPT variables and balance scores, performance in the 6-minute walking test and running speed on the ground.

Conclusion: The test proved to be useful for prescribing physical activity in these individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Exercise Test / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Paresis / etiology
  • Paresis / physiopathology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Stroke / complications*