Home-based exercise improves aerobic power in cirrhosis patients
In patients with cirrhosis, 8 weeks of a home-based exercise training (HET) regimen effectively improves exercise capacity, peak aerobic power (peak VO2) and 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), particularly in those with high adherence, a recent study has shown.
Researchers randomized 40 participants (mean age 57 years; 58 percent male) to receive either 8 weeks of HET, comprised of moderate-to-high‒intensity cycling 3 days/week, or usual care. Peak VO2 showed significant improvement from baseline in the HET group (1.44±0.40 to 1.57±0.56 L/min; p=0.04) but not in the control group (1.87±0.66 to 1.87±0.70 L/min; p=0.98).
The changes in peak VO2 were statistically comparable between the two groups (mean change, 0.15; 95 percent CI, ‒0.03 to 0.32; p=0.095).
In terms of secondary outcomes, there was a statistically significant improvement in aerobic endurance in the 6MWD test in favour the HET group (mean change, 33.7 m; 5.1–62.4; p=0.02). Significant improvements in thigh circumference (p=0.02) and thigh muscle thickness (p=0.05) were also observed in the HET group alone.
Categorizing the HET participants according to adherence produced two groups of almost equal size: those who completed ≥80 percent of the sessions (adherers; 55 percent; n=11) and those who completed less (nonadherers; 45 percent; n=9).
Subsequent analyses showed that improvements were more pronounced and significant in adherers. Peak VO2 increased from 18.5±4.5 at baseline to 21.4±6.7 mL/kg/min at study end (p=0.01) while the 6MWD improved from 503.6±96.3 to 534.0±102.7 m (p=0.003).
HET did not significantly affect quality of life relative to usual care, and no adverse events were recorded.