Preoperative respiratory muscle training combined with aerobic exercise improves respiratory vital capacity and daily life activity following surgical treatment for myasthenia gravis

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Abstract

Objective: The effects of preoperative respiratory muscle training (RMT) on postoperative complications in patients surgically treated for myasthenia gravis (MG) remain unclear. The present study therefore evaluated the effects of preoperative moderate-to-intense RMT and aerobic exercise, when added to respiratory physiotherapy, on respiratory vital capacity, exercise capacity, and duration of hospital stay in patients with MG. Methods: Eighty patients with MG scheduled for extended thymectomy were randomly divided into two groups. The 40 subjects in the study group (SG) received preoperative moderate-to-intense RMT and aerobic exercise in addition to respiratory physiotherapy, whereas the 40 subjects in the control group (CG) received only chest physiotherapy. Respiratory vital capacity (as determined by VC, FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, and PEF) and exercise capacity (as determined by the 6-min walk test [6 MWT]) were measured pre- and postoperatively and before discharge. The duration of hospital stay and activity of daily living (ADL) were also determined. Results: Demographic and surgical characteristics, along with preoperative vital capacity and exercise capacity, were similar in the two groups. In the CG, VC (p = 0.001), FVC (p = 0.001), FEV1 (p = 0.002), PEF (p = 0.004), and 6MWT (p = 0.041) were significantly lower postoperatively than preoperatively, whereas the FEV1/FVC ratio did not differ significantly. Postoperative VC (p = 0.012), FVC (p = 0.030), FEV1 (p = 0.014), and PEF (p = 0.035) were significantly higher in the SG than in the CG, although 6MWT results did not differ. ADL on postoperative day 5 was significantly higher in the SG than in the CG (p = 0.001). Conclusion: RMT and aerobic exercise can have positive effects on postoperative respiratory vital capacity and daily life activity, and would enhance recovery after surgery in MG patients.

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Chen, S., Li, X., Wu, Y., Li, Y., Cao, P., Yin, Y., & Chen, Z. (2023). Preoperative respiratory muscle training combined with aerobic exercise improves respiratory vital capacity and daily life activity following surgical treatment for myasthenia gravis. Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13019-023-02283-5

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