Preoperative exercise and recovery after cardiac surgery: a meta-analysis

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2020 Jan 8;20(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s12872-019-01308-z.


Background: To evaluate the association between preoperative exercise and recovery after cardiac surgery.

Methods: Literature comparing preoperative exercise and the control group for patients receiving cardiac surgery was retrieved in multiple databases. Review Manager 5.2 was adopted for meta-analysis, sensitivity analysis and bias analysis.

Results: Finally, 6 relevant studies satisfied the inclusion criteria. There was significant difference in length of stay in intensive care unit (ICU) (MD- = 1.35, 95%CI [- 2.64, - 0.06], P = 0.04; P for heterogeneity < 0.0001, I2 = 88%) and physical function after operation (P of heterogeneity = 0.32, I2 = 12%, Z = 9.92, P of over effect< 0.00001). The meta-analysis suggested that there was no significant difference in white blood cell count (WBC) at postoperative day 7 and mental health after operation between the exercise group and the control group. Limited publication bias was observed in this study.

Conclusion: Preoperative exercise including inhaled muscle training, aerobics, resistance training and stretching could promote recovery after cardiac surgery.

Keywords: Cardiac surgery; Meta; Preoperative exercise.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Heart Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recovery of Function
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome