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.
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