Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a cornerstone of treatment following lung transplantation (LTx). The aim of this study was to observe the influence of a prolonged postsurgical clinical course on success of a 3-week inpatient PR. LTx recipients were divided according to their clinical course defined by their individual length of stay (LOS) in the transplant center (cohort 1: LOS >; cohort 2: ≤42 days). Peak work rate (PWR), maximum oxygen uptake (VO(2max) ), 6-min walk distance (6-MWD), vital capacity (VC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), physical activity of daily life (ADL), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measured using Short Form 36 questionnaire (SF36) were assessed at beginning and completion of PR. A total of 138 patients were included (LOS >42 days: 30; LOS ≤42 days: 108). At completion, physical functioning (VC, FEV1, PWR, VO(2max) , 6-MWD, ADL), and HRQoL (all SF36 domains) improved in each cohort (P < 0.05). No differences were found in between both cohorts in VC, FEV1, and ADL (n.s.), but in PWR, 6-MWD, and the SF36 domain 'physical functioning' (P < 0.05). A 3-week inpatient PR improves physical functioning despite prolonged hospitalization. HRQoL is close to normal. (ClinicalTrials.gov. identifier: NCT00759538).
© 2013 The Authors Transplant International © 2013 European Society for Organ Transplantation. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.