Effects of an exercise programme on functional capacity, body composition and risk of falls in patients with cirrhosis: A randomized clinical trial

Eva Román, Cristina García-Galcerán, Teresa Torrades, Silvia Herrera, Ana Marín, Maite Doñate, Edilmar Alvarado-Tapias, Jorge Malouf, Laura Nácher, Ricard Serra-Grima, Carlos Guarner, Juan Cordoba, German Soriano

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Abstract

© 2016 Román et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Patients with cirrhosis often have functional limitations, decreased muscle mass, and a high risk of falls. These variables could improve with exercise. The aim was to study the effects of moderate exercise on functional capacity, body composition and risk of falls in patients with cirrhosis. Twenty-three cirrhotic patients were randomized to an exercise programme (n = 14) or to a relaxation programme (n = 9). Both programmes consisted of a one-hour session 3 days a week for 12 weeks. At the beginning and end of the study, we measured functional capacity using the cardiopulmonary exercise test, evaluated body composition using anthropometry and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and estimated risk of falls using the Timed Up&Go test. In the exercise group, cardiopulmonary exercise test showed an increase in total effort time (p<0.001) and ventilatory anaerobic threshold time (p = 0.009). Upper thigh circumference increased and mid-arm and mid-thigh skinfold thickness decreased. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry showed a decrease in fat body mass (-0.94 kg, 95%CI -0.48 to -1.41, p = 0.003) and an increase in lean body mass (1.05 kg, 95%CI 0.27 to 1.82, p = 0.01), lean appendicular mass (0.38 kg, 95%CI 0.06 to 0.69, p = 0.03) and lean leg mass (0.34 kg, 95%CI 0.10 to 0.57, p = 0.02). The Timed Up&Go test decreased at the end of the study compared to baseline (p = 0.02). No changes were observed in the relaxation group. We conclude that a moderate exercise programme in patients with cirrhosis improves functional capacity, increases muscle mass, and decreases body fat and the Timed Up&Go time.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0151652
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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