Exercise performance increases coincident to body weight over the first two years following cardiac transplantation

Hannah Chaudry, Daniel S. Yip, Tanya Bush, Virginia Reynolds, Lorraine Witzke, Virginia Taylor, Jeffrey D. Hosenpud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To determine whether exercise performance changed over time once patients stabilized after heart transplantation, metabolic stress testing was performed in patients one and twoyr post-heart transplantation. Methods: The patient cohort includes those transplanted in our program who survived at least twoyr and were able to perform metabolic stress tests during their one- and two-yr annual evaluations. Standard stress test parameters were assessed, including weight, body surface area, rest and exercise heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), exercise time, anaerobic threshold (AT), and maximum VO2 (MVO2). Ejection fraction by echo was also collected. Each patient served as their own control and data were compared using paired t-testing. Results: Fifty patients were included in the cohort, 48 of whom were able to exercise to at least AT. Patient weight increased from year 1 to year 2 (82.4±15.1 vs. 85.0±17.0kg, p=0.035). Systolic BP increased approximately 40mmHg with exercise with no change in diastolic BP, and there was no difference between years 1 and 2. HR increased approximately 25bpm with exercise. There was no difference in resting HR but exercise HR increased significantly between yrs (148±15bpm vs. 154±18bpm, p=0.017). Both VO2 at AT and MVO2 increased significantly from year 1 to year 2 (1116±347mL/min vs. 1192±313mL/min, p=0.049 and 1523±337mL/min vs. 1599±356mL/min, p=0.012, respectively) but when corrected for body weight, there were no differences (VO2-AT 13.6±4.0mL/kg/min vs. 14.0±4.0mL/kg/min; MVO2 18.7±4.2mL/kg/min vs. 18.8±4.1mL/kg/min). All other measured parameters were not different. There was a weak but statistically significant correlation between change in peak HR and change in VO2 at AT between one and twoyr post-transplantation (r=0.30, p=0.04). Conclusions: We conclude that exercise performance as measured by VO2 can increase over time post-heart transplantation and in our cohort appears to be related to both an increase in body weight and an increase in HR from years 1 and 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-688
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Anaerobic threshold
  • Exercise
  • Exercise and heart rate
  • Heart transplant
  • Heart transplant follow-up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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