Exercise capacity following heart transplant: case report on the physical work capacity of a 37 year old competitive cyclist following orthotopic heart transplant
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Physical work capacity (PWC) in heart transplant recipients (HTR) typically does not exceed 60% of age-predicted normal levels. It is unknown what levels might be achieved in these patients if they were involved in strenuous exercise training prior to transplantation. A 37 year-old, professionally trained male cyclist suffered an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) immediately following a road race and received a heart transplant four months later. The participant resumed training for competitive cycling one month following the transplant. Training was tolerated without any problems. A peak VO2 of 33.8 ml•kg-1•min-1 was achieved at a peak working rate of 250 Watts during a bicycle ergonometry maximal exercise test. Peak heart rate (HR) was 165 bpm. Peak VO2 was 92% and peak HR was 90% of age predicted values. These results were similar to heart transplant recipients (HTR) who trained for 36+24 months following their transplant14. Results indicate that for this participant, a more aggressive approach to heart transplant recovery was well tolerated and suggests that similar programs could be applied to heart transplant recipients with similar motivation and activity histories.
A project presented to the Department of Physician Assistant of Wichita State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Physician Assistant.
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