Exercise Induces Peripheral Muscle But Not Cardiac Adaptations After Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.
Moore SA., Jakovljevic DG., Ford GA., Rochester L., Trenell MI.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the physiological factors affecting exercise-induced changes in peak oxygen consumption and function poststroke. DESIGN: Single-center, single-blind, randomized controlled pilot trial. SETTING: Community stroke services. PARTICIPANTS: Adults (N=40; age>50y; independent with/without stick) with stroke (diagnosed >6 mo previously) were recruited from 117 eligible participants. Twenty participants were randomized to the intervention group and 20 to the control group. No dropouts or adverse events were reported. INTERVENTIONS: Intervention group: 19-week (3 times/wk) progressive mixed (aerobic/strength/balance/flexibility) community group exercise program. Control group: Matched duration home stretching program. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: (1) Pre- and postintervention: maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing with noninvasive (bioreactance) cardiac output measurements; and (2) functional outcome measures: 6-minute walk test; timed Up and Go test, and Berg Balance Scale. RESULTS: Exercise improved peak oxygen consumption (18±5 to 21±5 mL/(kg⋅min); P<.01) and peak arterial-venous oxygen difference (9.2±2.7 to 11.4±2.9 mL of O2/100 mL of blood; P<.01), but did not alter cardiac output (17.2±4 to 17.7±4.2 L/min; P=.44) or cardiac power output (4.8±1.3 to 5.0±1.35 W; P=.45). A significant relation existed between change in peak oxygen consumption and change in peak arterial-venous oxygen difference (r=.507; P<.05), but not with cardiac output. Change in peak oxygen consumption did not strongly correlate with change in function. CONCLUSIONS: Exercise induced peripheral muscle, but not cardiac output, adaptations after stroke. Implications for stroke clinical care should be explored further in a broader cohort.