Content » Vol 48, Issue 9

Original report

Impaired cardiorespiratory fitness after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Wouter J. Harmsen, Gerard M. Ribbers, Bart Zegers, Emiel M. Sneekes, Majanka H. Heijenbrok-Kal, Ladbon Khajeh, Fop van Kooten, Sebastiaan J.C.M.M Neggers, Rita J.G. van den Berg-Emons
Rehabilitation Medicine, Erasmus MC, 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2127


Objective: To assess cardiorespiratory fitness in patients following an aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage and to explore this in fatigued and non-fatigued patients.
Design: Cross-sectional case-control study.
Subjects/patients: A total of 28 patients, 6 months post aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage, and 28 sex- and age-matched controls.
Methods: Cardiorespiratory responses to a progressive cardiopulmonary exercise test on a cycle ergometer were obtained using indirect calorimetry. Fatigue was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale.
Results: Mean peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) was significantly lower in patients (22. 0 (standard deviation (SD) 6. 2) ml/kg/min) than in controls (69% of controls, p < 0. 001). All other cardiorespiratory fitness parameters were also lower, with peak levels ranging from 62% to 77% of matched controls. Mean V̇O2peak was 19. 4 (SD 4. 1) ml/kg/min in fatigued patients (63% of matched controls, p < 0. 001) and 23. 9 (SD 6. 9) ml/kg/min in non-fatigued patients (74% of matched controls, p = 0. 002).
Conclusion: Cardiorespiratory fitness is impaired after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage, both in fatigued and non-fatigued patients. This finding may have implications for treatment.

Lay Abstract


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