European Journal of Pediatrics, February 2015, Volume 174, Issue 2, pp 251-257
The clinical importance of exercise testing and training in the healthcare management of young patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is growing. The aim of the present study was to determine the incidence of airflow limitation following cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and heavy-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) in young patients with CF. Nineteen young patients with CF and respective paired–matched controls performed CPET and HIIE on separate days. Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was measured pre- and post each exercise modality. A fall in FEV1 of 10 % or greater was used to define airflow limitation. The incidence of airflow limitation was significantly greater in the CF group than in the controls following CPET (32 vs. 5 %; p = 0.03); however, no significant difference in the incidence of airflow limitation was shown following HIIE between the CF group and controls (11 vs. 16 %; p = 0.64).
Conclusion: Our data show that the incidence of airflow limitation following CPET in young patients with CF is high. Therefore, clinicians may wish to identify whether young CF patients experience airflow limitation following strenuous exercise, such as CPET, before it is performed. However, HIIE carries a low risk for airflow limitation and may be prescribed as a safe, yet effective exercise modality for young patients with CF.