Effect of a physical exercise program on the functional capacity of liver transplant patients

Transplant Proc. Jul-Aug 2014;46(6):1807-8. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2014.05.023.

Abstract

Background: Recently there has been great concern about the quality of life and health of liver transplant patients (LTP). These patients often present with metabolic disorders, which can improve with regular physical exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a physical exercise program on the functional capacity of LTP.

Method: The distance walked in the 6-minute walk test and the resting energy expenditure (REE) were evaluated in 15 subjects who regularly attend the outpatient Bias Fortes Clinic at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. The patients were divided into 2 groups, the Exercise Group (EG) (6 men and 3 women; 52 ± 15 years old, BMI 22.4 ± 4.0 kg/m²) performed 24 sessions of continuous 30 min treadmill exercise. Intensity of exercise was increased from 50%-70% of the maximum heart rate over the training period. A group of 3 men and 3 women (39 ± 15 years, BMI 24.5 ± 4.4 kg/m²) served as controls (CG).

Results: After undergoing exercise training, patients in the EG showed a 19.4% increase in the distance walked (pre = 453.6 ± 128.0 m and post = 582.5 ± 90.1 m). Also, there was an increase in their REE (pre = 1,060.0 ± 194.2 kcal and post = 1,375.0 ± 258.6 kcal) (P < .05) indicating an increase in their exercise capacity and metabolic improvements. There were no differences in the distance walked (pre = 516.5 ± 62.0 m and post = 517.7 ± 71.9 m) and REE (pre = 1,393.0 ± 213.3 kcal to post = 1,465.0 ± 170.3 kcal) (P > .05) for CG. Our results are in agreement with previous studies.

Conclusions: We conclude that the exercise program promoted significant improvements in functional capacity. These findings have positive implications for the control of metabolic diseases, which are common in patients after liver transplantation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • End Stage Liver Disease / physiopathology
  • End Stage Liver Disease / surgery*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Postoperative Care / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology