Aims: To evaluate cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance in a large cohort of apparently healthy paediatric cancer survivors in order to determine their participation in sporting activities. Methods: A total of 84 young (2) and/or chest irradiation (median dose 2000 cGy), with normal left ventricular systolic function at rest (fractional shortening >29%), and 79 healthy controls were studied. Exercise testing was performed on a treadmill ergometer. Gas exchange analysis and derived variables were measured on a breath-by-breath basis. Pulmonary functional evaluation was performed before exercise. Echocardiographic evaluation at rest was performed within one month before the exercise test. Results: There were no differences in exercise responses between patients and controls. In boys <13 years, mean VO2 max was slightly but significantly lower than in controls. This finding was thought to be a result of decreased physical fitness as all the other exercise parameters were similar to those in the controls. Conclusions: Results show that apparently healthy survivors of paediatric cancer can take part in dynamic sporting activities if they exhibit a normal response to cardiopulmonary exercise testing, while those that exhibit a reduced VO2 max should be re-evaluated after an aerobic training programme, and should undergo tailored dynamic physical activity if the VO2 max does not normalise.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health