Does an Exercise Program followers Cardiac Surgery for Congenital Heart Defects better a Child ‘s Cardiopulmonary Response to Exercise and Increase Exercise Tolerance?


Paediatric Cardiac Problems are prevailing throughout the universe with 1.5 million new instances diagnosed each twelvemonth. Congenital Heart Disease ( CHD ) is the most common diagnosing of bosom jobs at birth. Between four and nine per one 1000 unrecorded births each twelvemonth are diagnosed with the status ( Draper 2008 ) . In 2007, 989 unrecorded births were recorded of babes with cardiovascular abnormalcies ( National Statistics 2007 ) . Congenital Heart Disease is an umbrella term which encompasses all bosom defects that are present when a kid is born. The kid may hold one or multiple defects at birth which can either be detected by a scan ante-natally or are diagnosed shortly after birth. Although the diagnosing of CHD is now going easier, some diagnosings of the status do non go on till subsequently on in life. Statisticss show that around 60 % of inborn bosom disease are diagnosed in babes aged from birth to one twelvemonth, 30 % in kids aged one to fifteen, and 10 % in maturity ( 16 old ages and over ) ( BHF 2003 ) . Many common conditions include a Ventricular Septal Defect ( VSD ) , an Atrial Septal Defect ( ASD ) , Pneumonic Artery Stenosis, Tetralogy of Fallot ( TOF ) ( Fig. 1 ) and Transposition of the Great Arteries ( TGA ) ( Fig. 2 ) .

Congenital Heart Disease is now non merely a job of the kid, many people with the status are now populating into maturity. It is predicted that by 2010, 185,000 people will be populating in the UK with CHD ( Deanfield ( BHF ) 2003 ) . Treatment for Congenital Heart Conditions has changed quickly over the last 50 old ages. Now surgical direction is needed in most instances nevertheless some defects will either decide themselves or necessitate medicine. Surgical intervention has changed in recent times, fewer patients are necessitating unfastened bosom surgery and more are having a catheterization technique. Around 3,100 operations and 725 interventional cardiac catheterizations are performed each twelvemonth on babes and kids with CHD ( BHF 2003 ) .

The effects of surgical intercessions on cardiorespiratory map have been exhaustively researched in the yesteryear. The surveies have concluded that surgery does better lung and cardiac map and reduces secondary complications ( Picchio 2006 ) .

Exercise is widely known as the best intervention for most musculoskeletal jobs but its effects on the cardiorespiratory system has merely late been researched into ( Cullen 1991 ) . Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation have now been shown to hold an consequence in grownups but the research into pediatric rehabilitation categories is non widely known approximately.

Other surveies have looked at exercising preparation or a cardiac rehabilitation programmes following surgery and the consequence of this on the patient ‘s exercising tolerance. I am traveling to utilize this reappraisal to measure these surveies which look at both cardiac rehabilitation programmes and besides degrees of exercising tolerance following surgery. I want to discourse whether there are any spreads in the cognition base environing the effects of exercising in cardiac surgery of pediatricss. I besides want to reason whether the premise that exercising is positive, can be right justified.


After make up one’s minding a subject I was able to get down researching into the background country of pediatric cardiology. I started by utilizing a combination of footings including, Exercise, Sports, Physical Activity, Paediatrics, Children, Post-Cardiac Surgery, Congenital Heart Disease, Congenital Heart Defects and Cardiac Rehabilitation. The hunt pages I found highlighted articles of relevancy and so I used the nexus to related articles to happen the surveies ( see appendix 1 ) . I besides searched on single diary web sites including, Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiology in the Young. I used databases such as Pubmed, Medline, Ovid, Sciencedirect and Springerlink to read abstracts of articles and make up one’s mind their relevancy to my reappraisal. I so selected the most relevant and used excel to roll up a tabular array where I could easy see the differences in the surveies under headers ( see appendix 4 ) .

The surveies I am looking at are all based on pediatricss and are randomised controlled tests dating from 1981 to 2009. Although some of the surveies are about 30 old ages old, they hold some strong grounds compared to show twenty-four hours surveies and hence I have non discounted older surveies from this reappraisal.

Other reappraisals have assessed whether exercising has an impact on cardiorespiratory public presentation and have been shown that an exercising rehabilitation category does supply benefits in cardiorespiratory public presentation and exercising capacity. Some of the surveies that are being reviewed nevertheless are reasoning with undistinguished findings. The reappraisals have stated that research lacks long-run effects of preparation and besides a clear apprehension as to which exercising type is best ( Tomassoni 1996 ) . In this reappraisal I will seek expression at newer surveies and see if the countries of cognition that were found to be omitted after old reappraisals have now been researched into.

Review of Surveies

First I am traveling to discourse the testing of the participants. All of the surveies completed two exercising trials to measure the participant ‘s ability before and after either the cardiac rehabilitation plan or surgery. Exercise testing is really hard to reproduce. Many surveies have jobs with guaranting the trial is accurate and dependable and many battle, doing consequences and proving to be different and hence non comparable. If the consequences are non accurate and can non be compared to other surveies the consequences can do a alteration in mean consequences and therefore may misdirect readers into a false positive consequence.

Each of the surveies used either a treadmill trial or a rhythm dynamometer to prove their participant ‘s cardiorespiratory map and exercising tolerance. Using these two trials is the most common technique of proving map as it is really dependable. ( Washington 1994 ) All surveies used a specific protocol outlined in the Washington Guidelines with all of the surveies utilizing a treadmill trial with five of the 13 surveies utilizing Bruce ‘s protocol. Bruce ‘s protocol is where the class of exercising is increased every 3 proceedingss until the participant has reached their maximal capacity and can non go on. The bike dynamometer trials are where the participants are required to rhythm continuously at about 50-60rpm where the class of exercising is increased by 10-20 watts/ minute every three proceedingss. This is besides completed until the participant can no longer go on ( Washington 1994 ) .

Exercise proving utilizing a treadmill or a rhythm dynamometer causes jobs because the undertaking they are set abouting in the trial are is non functional and do non associate to day-to-day undertakings. Runing and cycling is functional but non to that class of exhaustion. Many kids usually will halt an exercising when they are palling and will ne’er force themselves to the degree that these exercising trials are forcing them. The undertakings are besides non fun for the participants and I feel that it should be fun otherwise kids will acquire bored. This is the same with the intercession as good and the programmes should be child oriented and single to each kid.

Result Measures are the footing to the consequences of a survey and therefore its effectivity. A deficiency of certain outcome steps may demo big defects in a survey as many can be used to measure different parts of map and physiological activities. In the surveies looking at the effects of cardiovascular surgery, there were a limited figure of outcome steps that were looked at. Sarubbi ( 2000 ) merely looked at bosom rate and blood force per unit area as result steps and this limits consequences. The chief result steps were bosom rate, blood force per unit area and maximal work rate in all the surveies. These result steps although really limited are values that help us to understand cardiovascular activities. Other helpful steps would hold been oxygen impregnations, which merely Rhodes ‘ surveies ( 2005/6 ) looked into. Impregnations are helpful to measure whether a alteration in bosom rate or blood force per unit area affects impregnations or whether a alteration in these may be due to a airing job. ( Rivers 2001 )

The result steps of the cardiac rehabilitation surveies are all different but all have likewise looked at exercising capacity after the intercession. This is shown by all the surveies utilizing VO2 as a step and that all the participants improved their VO2 upper limit to let for a greater exercising capacity. The lone survey that did non turn out an addition in VO2 soap was Goldberg ‘s survey ( 1981 ) which merely showed an betterment in maximal work rate. This could hold been due to the day of the month in which the survey was undertaken. This was one of the earlier surveies done in 1981 and hence engineering may non hold been as accurate or every bit dependable as some of the ulterior surveies done since 2000. However Goldberg ‘s survey was the 1 that had the most intervention clip of all the surveies with exercising of up to 45 proceedingss completed on alternate yearss with a rigorous government to increase class of exercising over the 6 hebdomads. This leads me to believe that possibly it was inappropriate testing or inaccurate engineering that changed the consequences of the survey as old reappraisals have shown that an addition in exercising clip has shown to hold positive effects on wellness. As engineering has developed since the early 1880ss, this may be why more accurate testing is used and hence doing consequences more positive to the result we wish.

Another job in tests of this kind is conformity. Conformity is ever an issue when finishing surveies ( Burke 1997 ) . Initially enrolling people to take part is hard and many people with either choose non to take part or may drop-out early in the survey. Many people will non take part because of exercising proving being excessively invasive or because of geographical deductions as the distance to the base of the survey being an issue. Some of the surveies had big drop-out rates with about 30 % lessening in patients ab initio feasible for the intervention program and those who undertook the trials in the survey ( Arvidsson 2009 ) . I think this could be explained by that the surveies involved child participants that are less compliant to long term programmes and who tire easy to an activity. Besides due to the nature of the surgery that they have all completed, many parents will be protective over their kids and be forcing the participant ‘s exercising tolerance will do many parents worried about their kid ‘s wellness. Much of this can be avoided by specifically explicating the processs and replying any inquiries that the parent or participant may hold to educate them that this a intervention program and is non traveling to impede their kid ‘s recovery or wellness.

Besides intercession clip is a major issue when looking at tests. Some may be yearss long and others have followups of old ages one time the intercession has finished. The surveies that focus on Cardiac rehabilitation all have assorted clip graduated tables of their intercession with the shortest plan being six hebdomads ( Goldberg 1981 ) and the longest around 20 hebdomads ( Opocher 2005 ) . The difference in timescale and the different figure of Sessionss that the participants attend makes it hard to measure whether it is the content of the plan that affects the patients or whether merely exerting over a longer, more sustained period of clip effects the participants in the same manner. I think surveies that look at different contents of intervention programmes but have a fixed intercession clip may be good in make up one’s minding the purpose of this reappraisal.

When looking at the surveies, all of the cardiac rehabilitation plans merely assess the patients exercise public presentation heterosexual after the plan and merely one survey looks at the effects of the plan long term. Rhodes et al 2005 foremost looked at the immediate consequence of a cardiac rehabilitation plan and so in 2006 did another survey looking at the same participants of the old survey six months after the original plan. The surveies that look at exercising capacity before and after surgery besides do non look at the effects of the cardiovascular system in response to exert on a long term graduated table. Long term effects are the best index to state that map and exercising capacity has improved ( Miller 2005 ) .

Sociodemographics of the topics in a survey are besides of import to reexamine as to its engagement in truth of consequences. Different age ranges or male to female ratios cause surveies to be inaccurate in seeking to generalize the population group. Many of the surveies had a really big age scope within their participant groups with the largest difference being 17.6 old ages in Marino et Al ‘s survey in 2005. I feel that the exercising difference between a seven twelvemonth old is really different to that of a 24 twelvemonth old. I feel that a big age scope is used to increase capable Numberss. Male: Female ratios are besides of import and that a big bulk in these surveies had male participants. The biggest ratio of male to female was in Opocher ‘s ( 2005 ) survey where there were nine male participants and merely one female participants. The best ratio of male: female was either Moalla ( 2006 ) survey with 44 males and 39 females. This is of import as I believe work forces and adult females react otherwise to exercising.

Capable Numberss is besides a big job with these surveies. Due to most of the surveies merely looking at the kids that have had surgery in their trust or infirmary they have decreased their capable Numberss and none of the surveies look at the effects on big figure of topics on a national graduated table. The surveies that looked at cardiac rehabilitation all have capable Numberss under 16 which is a really large restriction. The lone surveies that have larger Numberss are the 1s that look at exercising capacity after surgery. By holding participants that are merely from the immediate country of the survey base besides means you do non acquire a generalized position of everyone nationally and you may non cover different kids from different backgrounds socially and economically and so may hold different attitudes to rehabilitation, intervention and self-management.

Surveies with participants that are non generalised to their population group can therefore bring forth a prejudice consequence to that specific population group. Besides holding different backgrounds of participants is of import in measuring their conformity and what single exercising programme they should be given. Having a specific age scope is peculiarly of import as many of the topics may be inappropriate for the programme due to their age. Some of the topics may be excessively immature and utilizing topics that are under six old ages old would be inappropriate due to the topics being excessively immature to understand the instructions of the survey. Using older topics may besides do different consequences as their organic structures have had longer to recover independent map and the organic structure has had clip to counterbalance for a deficiency in cardiorespiratory map. I think it is of import to maintain variables every bit compendious as possible and tests should be able to based on one variable entirely and genuinely work on whether surgery or exercising has an consequence on that variable independently.

Effectss of Cardiac Rehabilitation

The surveies looking at cardiac rehabilitation all have an exercising programme set up for their patients either at place ( Moalla 2006 ) or in an outpatient scene ( Ruttenberg 1983 ) . These Sessionss runing in therapy clip from one hr surrogate yearss to one hr one time a hebdomad, all show an addition in either cardiorespiratory public presentation or in exercising tolerance. This shows that a rehabilitation programme is appropriate for these patients and does hold a positive consequence on the participant ‘s life. Rhodes ‘ surveies ( 2005/6 ) had the greatest consequence on the patient ‘s concluding result. Not merely did most of the proving consequence in important effects but the big scope of result steps used agencies that we can measure non merely the cardiovascular public presentation of the participant but besides look at the pneumonic effects of the exercising and their effects of the bosom and the cardiac system.

What we can besides see from this reappraisal is that the cardiac rehabilitation programmes are going more important in consequences as the surveies get newer. This is a good index that current programmes are being effectual in their rehabilitation ( Opocher 2005, Rhodes 2005/6, Moalla 2006 ) and that newer techniques and more cognition on exercising has lead to better run categories which non merely better consequences more systematically than the older surveies and that the effects from an initial programme can besides be maintained for 6months after intercession ( Rhodes 2006 ) .

Effectss of Cardiovascular Surgery

Two of the surveies looking at effects of surgery merely have exercising testing after the surgery. The survey by Arvidsson merely used the figure of athleticss Sessionss a hebdomad that the participant goes to after the surgery. Therefore a direct comparing between their before and after the surgery ability can non be done and so the survey is merely looking at their athleticss engagement after surgery and non the effects of the surgery. However these surveies do demo that after surgery kids ‘s exercising tolerance additions to the degree that healthy participants are accomplishing ( Zaccara 2003 ) and they are take parting in equal sums of athleticss engagement following surgery ( Arvidsson 2009 )

Future thoughts

In future surveies, long term effects of cardiac rehabilitation should be researched, with a follow-up trial of a least a twelvemonth after their rehabilitation to see if the participant is now more active. I besides think a control group should be used in the survey to look at the effects of non-surgical patients that besides participate in cardiac rehabilitation. This is to measure whether the betterment seen during cardiac rehabilitation is non merely a response to any exercising and that if a kid went back to normalcy and take parting in athleticss so they will merely be as exercising tolerant as kids who do non hold CHD. Besides I would propose that an exercising programme for the patients that is more functional but besides merriment and exciting for the patient should be used to increase conformity and besides enjoyment for the participants and their parents.


In decision, Cardiac surgery is a normally used signifier of cut downing inborn bosom defects and has been shown by these surveies that the surgery does hold an betterment on the patient ‘s cardiorespiratory public presentation. I have besides found that a cardiac rehabilitation programme is good for pediatric patients after cardiac surgery for inborn bosom defects.

References/ Bibliography

  1. Arvidsson, D ( 2009 ) Physical Activity, athleticss engagement and aerophilic fittingness in kids who have undergone surgery for inborn bosom defects. Acta Paediatrica 98 pp. 1475-1482
  2. Balfour, I. ( 1991 ) Pediatric Cardiac Rehabilitation. AJDC- Volume 145 pp. 627-630
  3. Bradley, L. ( 1985 ) Consequence of Intense Aerobic Training on Exercise Performance in Children After Surgical Repair of Tetralogy of Fallot or Complete Transposition of the Great Arteries. The American Journal of Cardiology Volume 56 pp.816-818
  4. Burke, L. ( 1997 ) Conformity with cardiovascular disease bar schemes: A reappraisal of the research. Annalss of Behavioural Medicine. Volume 19, figure 3, pp. 239-263
  5. Cullen, S. ( 1991 ) Exercise in Congenital Heart Disease. Cardiology in the Young ; 1: pp. 129-135
  6. Deanfield J. ( 2003 ) Congenital Heart Disease Statistics ( accessed on 8/11/09 ) British Heart Foundation Statistics Database disease take part in athletics and in which sort of athletics? Journal Of Cardiovascular Medicine, 7: pp. 234-238
  7. Draper, Dr. Richard ( 2008 ) Congenital Heart Disease in Children ( accessed on 3/11/09 ) hypertext transfer protocol: // ( CHD ) -in-Children.htm
  8. ECHO ( Evelina Children ‘s Heart Organisation ) ( accessed on 15/11/2009 ) hypertext transfer protocol: //
  9. Goldberg, B. ( 1981 ) Effects of Physical Training on Exercise Performance of Children Following Surgical Repair of Congenital Heart Disease. Pediatrics Vol. 68 No.5 pp. 691-699
  10. hypertext transfer protocol: //
  11. hypertext transfer protocol: //
  12. Marino, B. ( 2006 ) Exercise Performance in kids and striplings after the Ross process. Cardiology in the Young 16: 40-47
  13. Miller, T. ( 2005 ) Exercise rehabilitation of pediatric patients with cardiovascular disease. Advancement in Paediatric Cardiology Volume 20, pp. 27-37
  14. Minamisawa, S. ( 2001 ) Consequence of Aerobic Training on Exercise Performance in Patients After the Fontan Operation. The American Journal of Cardiology Volume 88 pp. 695-699
  15. Moalla, W. ( 2006 ) Consequence of exercising preparation on respiratory musculus oxygenation in kids with inborn bosom disease. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 13: 604-611
  16. National Statistics ( 2007 ) Congenital anomaly Statistics Notifications. Office for National Statistics. Series MB3, no.22
  17. Opocher, F. ( 2005 ) Effects of Aerobic Exercise Training in Children After the Fontan Operation. The American Journal of Cardiology Vol. 95 pp.150-152
  18. Picchio F. ( 2006 ) Can a kid who has been operated on for inborn bosom
  19. Rhodes J. ( 2006 ) Sustained Effectss of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Children with serious Congenital Heart Disease. Paediatrics Volume 118:3 pp.586-592
  20. Rhodes, J. ( 2005 ) Impact of Cardiac Rehabiliation on the Exercise Function of Children with Serious Congenital Heart Disease. Pediatrics Volume 116:6 pp.1339-1345
  21. Rivers, E. ( 2001 ) Central venous O impregnation monitoring in the critically sick patient. Current Opinion in Critical Care. Volume 7, issue 3, pp. 204-211
  22. Ruttenberg, H. ( 1983 ) Effectss of Exercise Training on Aerobic Fitness in Children after Open Heart Surgery. Pediatric Cardiology Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 19-24
  23. Sarubbi, B. ( 2000 ) Exercise Capacity in Young Patients after Total Repair of Tetralogy of Fallot. Paediatric Cardiology 21: 211-215
  24. Tomassoni, T. ( 1996 ) Role of exercising in the direction of cardiovascular disease in kids and young person. Medicine & A ; Science in Sports & A ; Exercise. Volume 28 ( 4 ) , pp 406-413
  25. Washington RL. Et Al. ( 1994 ) Guidelines for exercising testing in the paediatric age group. Journal of the American Heart Association. Volume 90 ; pp. 2166-2179
  26. Zaccara, A. ( 2003 ) Cardiopulmonary Performances in Young Children and Adolescents Born with Large Abdominal Wall Defects. Journal of Pediatric Surgery Volume 38 ; 3 pp 478-481