Maximal oxygen consumption and stress performance in children operated on for congenital diaphragmatic hernia

A. Zaccara, A. Turchetta, A. Calzolari, B. Iacobelli, A. Nahom, M. C. Lucchetti, P. Bagolan, M. Rivosecchi, A. G. Coran, W. J. Chwals, K. P. Lally, C. E. Bagwell

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The long-term follow-up of patients operated on for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) at birth has been extensively evaluated, both clinically end with respect to respiratory function. However, little is known about the sports practice and stress performance of these subjects. Fifteen of 107 patients operated on for CDH underwent exercise stress testing with a stepwise increase in workload. A questionnaire was provided, which requested information on sports practice and lifestyle. Maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2 max) was measured along with dynamic lung volumes. Clinical examination included a whole-body assessment (height, weight, skinfolds) and vital parameters (heart rate end blood pressure). Fifteen healthy children who practiced regular physical activity (2 to 4 hours/week) served as controls. All the CDH patients experienced a good lifestyle, but only 8 of them were participating in sports. Exercise duration and V̇O2 max were significantly lower for the CDH patients, and were lowest for the sedentary patients. Therefore, the reduced V̇O2 max of these otherwise healthy children most likely represents a lower degree of physical fitness rather than decreased respiratory function. Fitness is an expression of well-being; thus, there is evidence that these patients could safely participate in competitive motor activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1095
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • fitness
  • follow-up
  • sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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