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Rehabilitation in Patients before and after Lung Transplantation.

Abstract

Lung transplantation is an established treatment for patients with end-stage lung disease. It has been observed that despite near-normal lung function, exercise intolerance and reductions in quality of life (QOL) often persist up to years after transplantation. Several modifiable pre- and posttransplant factors are known to contribute to these persisting impairments. Physiological changes associated with severe and chronic lung disease, limb muscle dysfunction, inactivity/deconditioning, and nutritional depletion can affect exercise capacity and physical functioning in candidates for lung transplantation. After transplantation, extended hospital and intensive care unit stay, prolonged sedentary time, persisting inactivity, immunosuppressant medications and episodes of organ rejection may all impact lung recipients' recovery. Available evidence will be reviewed and content will be proposed (both evidence and experience based) for rehabilitation interventions prior to transplantation, during hospitalization after transplantation, and in both the immediate (≤12 months after hospital discharge) and long-term (>12 months after hospital discharge) posttransplant phase. Outpatient rehabilitation programs including supervised exercise training have been shown to be effective in improving limb muscle dysfunction, exercise capacity, and QOL both before and after transplantation if offered appropriately. Unmet research needs included the absence of sufficiently powered randomized controlled trials measuring the effects of rehabilitation interventions on crucial long-term outcomes such as sustained improvements in QOL, participation in daily activity, survival, incidence of morbidities and cost-effectiveness. Remotely monitored (telehealth) home-based exercise or pedometer-based walking interventions might be interesting alternatives to supervised outpatient rehabilitation interventions in the long-term posttransplant phase and warrant further investigation.

© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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Summary | 1 Annotations
Lung transplantation is an established treatment for patients with end-stage lung disease. It has been observed that despite near-normal lung function, exercise intolerance and reductions in quality of life (QOL) often persist up to years after transplantation. Several modifiable pre- and posttransplant factors are known to contribute to these persisting impairments. Physiological changes associated with severe and chronic lung disease, limb muscle dysfunction, inactivity/deconditioning, and nutritional depletion can affect exercise capacity and physical functioning in candidates for lung transplantation. After transplantation, extended hospital and intensive care unit stay, prolonged sedentary time, persisting inactivity, immunosuppressant medications and episodes of organ rejection may all impact lung recipients' recovery. Available evidence will be reviewed and content will be proposed (both evidence and experience based) for rehabilitation interventions prior to transplantation, during hospitalization after transplantation, and in both the immediate (≤12 months after hospital discharge) and long-term (>12 months after hospital discharge) posttransplant phase. Outpatient rehabilitation programs including supervised exercise training have been shown to be effective in improving limb muscle dysfunction, exercise capacity, and QOL both before and after transplantation if offered appropriately. Unmet research needs included the absence of sufficiently powered randomized controlled trials measuring the effects of rehabilitation interventions on crucial long-term outcomes such as sustained improvements in QOL, participation in daily activity, survival, incidence of morbidities and cost-effectiveness. Remotely monitored (telehealth) home-based exercise or pedometer-based walking interventions might be interesting alternatives to supervised outpatient rehabilitation interventions in the long-term posttransplant phase and warrant further investigation.
2018/05/24 12:53