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BACKGROUND - Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors treated with thoracic radiation therapy (RT) have impaired exercise tolerance and increased cardiovascular mortality.
OBJECTIVES - The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of autonomic dysfunction and its implications on exercise capacity and mortality in long-term survivors of HL.
METHODS - Exercise parameters in 263 HL survivors referred for exercise treadmill testing at a median interval of 19 years after RT were compared with 526 age-, sex-, and cardiovascular risk score-matched control subjects. Within the RT cohort, the presence of autonomic dysfunction, defined by an elevated resting heart rate (HR) (≥80 beats/min) and abnormal heart rate recovery (HRR) at 1 min (≤12 beats/min if active cool-down, or ≤18 beats/min if passive recovery), was correlated with exercise capacity and all-cause mortality over a median follow-up of 3 years.
RESULTS - RT was associated with elevated resting HR and abnormal HRR after adjusting for age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors, medications, and indication for exercise treadmill testing: odds ratio: 3.96 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.52 to 6.23) and odds ratio: 5.32 (95% CI: 2.94 to 9.65), respectively. Prevalence of autonomic dysfunction increased with radiation dose and time from RT. Both elevated resting HR and abnormal HRR were associated with reduced exercise capacity in RT patients. Abnormal HRR was also associated with increased all-cause mortality (age-adjusted hazard ratio: 4.60 [95% CI: 1.62 to 13.02]).
CONCLUSIONS - Thoracic RT is associated with autonomic dysfunction, as measured by elevated resting HR and abnormal HRR. These abnormalities are associated with impaired exercise tolerance, and abnormal HRR predicts increased all-cause mortality in RT patients.
Copyright © 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Measures of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and heart rate recovery (HRR) can improve risk stratification for cardiovascular disease, but these measurements are rarely made in asymptomatic individuals due to cost. An exercise field test (EFT) to assess CRF and HRR would be an inexpensive method for cardiovascular disease risk assessment in large populations. This study assessed 1) the predictive accuracy of a 12-minute run/walk EFT for estimating CRF ([Formula: see text]) and 2) the accuracy of HRR measured after an EFT using a heart rate monitor (HRM) in an asymptomatic population.
METHODS - Fifty subjects (48% women) ages 18-45 years completed a symptom-limited exercise tolerance test (ETT) (Bruce protocol) and an EFT on separate days. During the ETT, [Formula: see text] was measured by a metabolic cart, and heart rate was measured continuously by a HRM and a metabolic cart.
RESULTS - EFT distance and sex independently predicted[Formula: see text]. The average absolute difference between observed and predicted [Formula: see text] was 0.26 ± 3.27 ml·kg-1·min-1 for our model compared to 7.55 ± 3.64 ml·kg-1·min-1 for the Cooper model. HRM HRR data were equivalent to respective metabolic cart values during the ETT. HRR at 1 minute post-exercise during ETT compared to the EFT had a moderate correlation (r=0.75, p<0.001).
CONCLUSION - A more accurate model to estimate CRF from a 12-minute run/walk EFT was developed, and HRR can be measured using a HRM in an asymptomatic population outside of clinical settings.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Modifiable factors, such as body size and body composition, could influence physical function and quality of life in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (MHD).
DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS - From January 2008 to June 2012, in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and magnetic resonance imaging measurements of midthigh muscle area (MTMA) and intra-abdominal fat area (IAFA) were obtained at baseline in 105 MHD patients. Six-minute walk distances and physical and mental component scores (PCS and MCS) from the Short Form-12 questionnaire were obtained at baseline and 6 and 12 months. Separate mixed-effects regression models were used to relate baseline BMI, WC, and IAFA with baseline and the average of follow-up 6-minute walk distances and PCS and MCS after adjustment for baseline covariates and MTMA.
RESULTS - for baseline covariates and baseline MTMA, each SD increase in baseline BMI was inversely associated with baseline (-31.5 m; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -53.0 to -10.0 m) and follow-up (-36.9 m; 95% CI, -54.6 to -19.2 m) 6-minute walk distances. Results were similar for WC and IAFA. In each of these models, each SD increase in MTMA had a strong positive association with 6-minute walk distance. Adiposity measures were not associated with baseline or follow-up PCS and MCS. After adjustment for baseline BMI, each SD increase in baseline MTMA was associated with higher baseline PCS score (3.78; 95% CI, 0.73 to 6.82) and MCS (3.75; 95% CI, 0.44 to 7.05) but had weaker associations with follow-up PCS and MCS.
CONCLUSIONS - Body size and composition are significantly associated with physical functioning and quality of life. Interventions that improve muscle mass and decrease obesity might improve these measures in patients undergoing MHD.
Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Nephrology.
BACKGROUND - Epoprostenol sodium with arginine-mannitol excipients (epoprostenol AM; Veletri [Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Allschwil, Switzerland]) and epoprostenol sodium with glycine-mannitol excipients (epoprostenol GM; Flolan [GlaxoSmithKline, Triangle Park, NC]) are intravenous treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Epoprostenol AM contains different inactive excipients, resulting in greater stability at room temperature compared with epoprostenol GM.
METHODS - In this prospective, multicenter, open-label, randomized, phase IV exploratory study, epoprostenol-naïve patients in need of injectable prostanoid therapy were randomized 2:1 to open-label epoprostenol AM or epoprostenol GM. The study period was 28 days, followed by a 30-day safety follow-up. Study aims were to descriptively compare the safety, tolerability, drug metabolite levels, and treatment effects of epoprostenol AM and epoprostenol GM in PAH. Statistical analysis was descriptive only because of the exploratory nature of the study.
RESULTS - Thirty patients with PAH (18-70 years, 24 women, 20 idiopathic PAH) were randomized to epoprostenol AM (n = 20) or epoprostenol GM (n = 10). Most frequently reported adverse events included jaw pain, headache, nausea, and flushing. Two deaths occurred during the study period, and 1 death occurred during the 30-day safety follow-up period, all in patients receiving epoprostenol AM. All deaths were classified by the treating physician as unrelated to epoprostenol AM. The median (range) change from baseline to day 28 in 6-minute walk distance was 36 m (-127 to 210 m) and 49 m (-44 to 110 m) for the epoprostenol AM and epoprostenol GM groups, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - In this randomized clinical study of epoprostenol AM in PAH, use of this novel preparation with greater room temperature stability was well tolerated.
INTRODUCTION - Women with fibromyalgia (FM) have symptoms of increased muscular fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance, which may be associated with alterations in muscle microcirculation and oxygen metabolism. This study used near-infrared diffuse optical spectroscopies to noninvasively evaluate muscle blood flow, blood oxygenation and oxygen metabolism during leg fatiguing exercise and during arm arterial cuff occlusion in post-menopausal women with and without FM.
METHODS - Fourteen women with FM and twenty-three well-matched healthy controls participated in this study. For the fatiguing exercise protocol, the subject was instructed to perform 6 sets of 12 isometric contractions of knee extensor muscles with intensity steadily increasing from 20 to 70% maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). For the cuff occlusion protocol, forearm arterial blood flow was occluded via a tourniquet on the upper arm for 3 minutes. Leg or arm muscle hemodynamics, including relative blood flow (rBF), oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentration ([HbO2] and [Hb]), total hemoglobin concentration (THC) and blood oxygen saturation (StO2), were continuously monitored throughout protocols using a custom-built hybrid diffuse optical instrument that combined a commercial near-infrared oximeter for tissue oxygenation measurements and a custom-designed diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) flowmeter for tissue blood flow measurements. Relative oxygen extraction fraction (rOEF) and oxygen consumption rate (rVO2) were calculated from the measured blood flow and oxygenation data. Post-manipulation (fatiguing exercise or cuff occlusion) recovery in muscle hemodynamics was characterized by the recovery half-time, a time interval from the end of manipulation to the time that tissue hemodynamics reached a half-maximal value.
RESULTS - Subjects with FM had similar hemodynamic and metabolic response/recovery patterns as healthy controls during exercise and during arterial occlusion. However, tissue rOEF during exercise in subjects with FM was significantly lower than in healthy controls, and the half-times of oxygenation recovery (Δ[HbO2] and Δ[Hb]) were significantly longer following fatiguing exercise and cuff occlusion.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results suggest an alteration of muscle oxygen utilization in the FM population. This study demonstrates the potential of using combined diffuse optical spectroscopies (i.e., NIRS/DCS) to comprehensively evaluate tissue oxygen and flow kinetics in skeletal muscle.
BACKGROUND - The 6-min walk test, commonly used to assess exercise capacity and response to therapy in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), has many well-described limitations. Sedentary time is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and reduced quality of life, and measuring sedentary time and physical activity using accelerometry is another potential way to quantify exercise capacity in PAH. Whether sedentary time is different in patients with PAH vs control subjects is unknown.
METHODS - Physical activity was measured in 20 patients with PAH and 30 matched healthy control subjects using accelerometry for 7 consecutive days. Patients with PAH completed standard 6-min walk testing, and baseline demographics were recorded for all study participants. Total daily activity counts, sedentary time, and proportion of time at various activity levels were compared between groups.
RESULTS - Sedentary time was significantly higher in patients with PAH (mean, 92.1% daily activity; 95% CI, 89.5-94.8%) than in control subjects (mean, 79.9% daily activity; 95% CI, 76.4%-83.5%; P < .001), and all levels of physical activity were reduced in the PAH group compared with the control group ( P < .01 for all). Daily moderate to vigorous physical activity was reduced in the PAH group (7.5 min; 95% CI; 0.8-15.6 min) compared with the control group (mean, 64.7 min; 95% CI, 51.1-78.2 min; P < .001). Activity counts correlated with 6-min walk distance in the PAH group (Spearman rank correlation 5 0.72, P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS - Sedentary time is increased in patients with PAH and may lead to increased risk for metabolic and cardiovascular morbidity. Quantitation of daily activity and sedentary time using accelerometry may be a novel end point for PAH management and clinical trials.
OBJECTIVE - Axillary intra-aortic balloon pump therapy has been described as a bridge to transplant. Advantages over femoral intra-aortic balloon pump therapy include reduced incidence of infection and enhanced patient mobility. We identified the patients who would benefit most from this therapy while awaiting heart transplantation.
METHODS - We conducted a single-center, retrospective observational study to evaluate outcomes from axillary intra-aortic balloon pump therapy. These included hemodynamic parameters, duration of support, and success in bridging to transplant. We selected patients on the basis of history of sternotomy, elevated panel-reactive antibody, and small body habitus. Patients were made to ambulate aggressively beginning on postoperative day 1.
RESULTS - Between September 2007 and September 2010, 18 patients underwent axillary intra-aortic balloon pump therapy. All patients had the devices placed through the left axillary artery with a Hemashield side graft (Boston Scientific, Natick, Mass). Before axillary placement, patients underwent femoral placement to demonstrate hemodynamic benefit. Duration of support ranged from 5 to 63 days (median = 19 days). There was marked improvement in ambulatory potential and hemodynamic parameters, with minimal blood transfusion requirements. There were no device-related infections. Some 72% of the patients (13/18) were successfully bridged to transplantation.
CONCLUSIONS - Axillary intra-aortic balloon pump therapy provides excellent support for selected patients as a bridge to transplant. The majority of the patients were successfully bridged to transplant and discharged. Although this therapy has been described in previous studies, this is the largest series to incorporate a regimen of aggressive ambulation with daily measurements of distances walked.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Mosby, Inc.
BACKGROUND - In this descriptive case series, 80 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with inhalational exposures during service in Iraq and Afghanistan were evaluated for dyspnea on exertion that prevented them from meeting the U.S. Army's standards for physical fitness.
METHODS - The soldiers underwent extensive evaluation of their medical and exposure history, physical examination, pulmonary-function testing, and high-resolution computed tomography (CT). A total of 49 soldiers underwent thoracoscopic lung biopsy after noninvasive evaluation did not provide an explanation for their symptoms. Data on cardiopulmonary-exercise and pulmonary-function testing were compared with data obtained from historical military control subjects.
RESULTS - Among the soldiers who were referred for evaluation, a history of inhalational exposure to a 2003 sulfur-mine fire in Iraq was common but not universal. Of the 49 soldiers who underwent lung biopsy, all biopsy samples were abnormal, with 38 soldiers having changes that were diagnostic of constrictive bronchiolitis. In the remaining 11 soldiers, diagnoses other than constrictive bronchiolitis that could explain the presenting dyspnea were established. All soldiers with constrictive bronchiolitis had normal results on chest radiography, but about one quarter were found to have mosaic air trapping or centrilobular nodules on chest CT. The results of pulmonary-function and cardiopulmonary-exercise testing were generally within normal population limits but were inferior to those of the military control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS - In 49 previously healthy soldiers with unexplained exertional dyspnea and diminished exercise tolerance after deployment, an analysis of biopsy samples showed diffuse constrictive bronchiolitis, which was possibly associated with inhalational exposure, in 38 soldiers.
OBJECTIVE - Skeletal muscle AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)α2 activity is impaired in obese, insulin-resistant individuals during exercise. We determined whether this defect contributes to the metabolic dysregulation and reduced exercise capacity observed in the obese state.
DESIGN - C57BL/6J wild-type (WT) mice and/or mice expressing a kinase dead AMPKα2 subunit in skeletal muscle (α2-KD) were fed chow or high-fat (HF) diets from 3 to 16 weeks of age. At 15 weeks, mice performed an exercise stress test to determine exercise capacity. In WT mice, muscle glucose uptake and skeletal muscle AMPKα2 activity was assessed in chronically catheterized mice (carotid artery/jugular vein) at 16 weeks. In a separate study, HF-fed WT and α2-KD mice performed 5 weeks of exercise training (from 15 to 20 weeks of age) to test whether AMPKα2 is necessary to restore work tolerance.
RESULTS - HF-fed WT mice had reduced exercise tolerance during an exercise stress test, and an attenuation in muscle glucose uptake and AMPKα2 activity during a single bout of exercise (P<0.05 versus chow). In chow-fed α2-KD mice, running speed and time were impaired ∼45 and ∼55%, respectively (P<0.05 versus WT chow); HF feeding further reduced running time ∼25% (P<0.05 versus α2-KD chow). In response to 5 weeks of exercise training, HF-fed WT and α2-KD mice increased maximum running speed ∼35% (P<0.05 versus pre-training) and maintained body weight at pre-training levels, whereas body weight increased in untrained HF WT and α2-KD mice. Exercise training restored running speed to levels seen in healthy, chow-fed mice.
CONCLUSION - HF feeding impairs AMPKα2 activity in skeletal muscle during exercise in vivo. Although this defect directly contributes to reduced exercise capacity, findings in HF-fed α2-KD mice show that AMPKα2-independent mechanisms are also involved. Importantly, α2-KD mice on a HF-fed diet adapt to regular exercise by increasing exercise tolerance, demonstrating that this adaptation is independent of skeletal muscle AMPKα2 activity.