Fitness testing of pediatric liver transplant recipients

Viswanath B. Unnithan, Suzanne H.E. Veehof, Philip Rosenthal, Christine Mudge, Teresa H. O'Brien, Patricia Painter

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Abstract

Liver transplantation is accepted as the standard management for end-stage liver disease in children. Pediatric heart and heart-lung transplant recipients have shown significantly diminished exercise capacities compared with age-matched, able-bodied, control subjects. The primary aim of this study is to compare the fitness levels of a group of pediatric liver transplant (LT) recipients (LT group, 20 boys, 9 girls; age, 8.9 ± 4.8 years; 56 ± 35 months posttransplantation) with a group of able-bodied control subjects (22 boys, 12 girls; age, 8.4 ± 3.8 years). The secondary aim is to compare the performance of the LT group against the Fitnessgram criterion standards. We assessed muscular endurance by means of a partial curl-up, flexibility by means of the back-saver sit and reach, and cardiorespiratory fitness by means of the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run (PACER). The only significant (P < .05) difference between the 2 groups was the number of shuttles run in the PACER (control, 16.8 ± 9.8 v LT, 11.5 ± 8.4 shuttles). Other differences between the 2 groups were not significant. With regard to satisfying the Fitnessgram criterion standards, only 35% of the LT group achieved the standards for the partial curl-up, 88% of the LT group achieved the criterion standards for flexibility, and 0% achieved the standards for the PACER. These results indicate that the LT group has diminished exercise capacity. The origins of exercise limitations deserve further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalLiver Transplantation
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Unnithan, V. B., Veehof, S. H. E., Rosenthal, P., Mudge, C., O'Brien, T. H., & Painter, P. (2001). Fitness testing of pediatric liver transplant recipients. Liver Transplantation, 7(3), 206-212. https://doi.org/10.1053/jlts.2001.22324