Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017 Jul 18. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201702-160FR. [Epub ahead of print]
Rehabilitation in patients with advanced cardiac and pulmonary disease has been
shown to increase survival and improve quality of life among many other benefits.
Exercise training is the fundamental ingredient in these rehabilitation programs.
However, determining the amount of exercise is not straightforward or uniform.
Most rehabilitation and training program fix the time of exercise and set the
exercise intensity to the goals of the rehabilitation program and the
exercise-related hurdles of the individual. The exercise training intensity
prescription must balance the desired gain in conditioning with safety.
Symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise testing is the fundamental tool to
identify the exercise intensity and define the appropriate training. In addition,
cardiopulmonary exercise testing provides an understanding of the systems
involved in oxygen transport and utilization making it possible to identify the
factors limiting exercise capacity in individual patients.