Determinants of cardiorespiratory fitness in very long-term survivors of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A national cohort study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSupportive Care in Cancer. 2021, 29(4), 1959-1967. 10.1007/s00520-020-05644-1
Purpose: Survivors of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) are at risk for cardiopulmonary adverse events. Data on long-term effects on cardiorespiratory fitness are limited. To address the gap in knowledge, we aimed to determine peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) and identify associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and clinical characteristics, self-reported physical activity, cardiac, and pulmonary function. Methods: In a nationwide, single-center cross-sectional study, 90 survivors [aged median (range) 35 (17–54) years, 56% females] were examined, 17 (6–26) years after allo-HSCT. Myeloablative conditioning comprised busulfan/cyclophosphamide or cyclophosphamide only. Methods included pulmonary function tests, echocardiography, and cardiopulmonary exercise test. Results: Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) was found in 31% of the subjects, of whom 40% had bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). Seventy-one percent of the survivors did not meet WHO recommendations for physical activity and 42% were overweight. Reduced gas diffusion (DLCO) and systolic ventricular dysfunction (LVEF) were found in 44% and 31%, respectively. For the group, mean (95% CI), V̇O2peak was 36.4 (34.7–38.0) mL/min/kg [89 (85–93)% of predicted]. V̇O2peak was low at 43%. Cardiopulmonary factors and deconditioning were equally common limitations for exercise. In a multiple linear regression model, low V̇O2peak was associated with low DLCO, low LVEF, BOS, overweight, and inactivity. Conclusion: Half of the survivors had reduced cardiorespiratory fitness median 17 years after allo-HSCT. Cardiopulmonary factors and deconditioning were equally common limitations to exercise. We encourage long-term cardiopulmonary monitoring of allo-HSCT survivors and targeted advice on modifiable lifestyle factors.
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