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Revista chilena de cardiología

On-line version ISSN 0718-8560


CONTRERAS-BRICENO, Felipe et al. Patients with Fontan: Oxygen Consumption in Respiratory and Locomotor muscles during Exercise Testing. Rev Chil Cardiol [online]. 2021, vol.40, n.1, pp.27-36. ISSN 0718-8560.


During a maximum incremental exercise patients with Fontan circulation (PFC) show cardiac limitation reducing aerobic exercise capacity (VO2-peak). Cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR) reverses this deconditioning by increasing cardiac output and arteriovenous oxygen difference, aspects that can be evaluated by invasive methods and analyzing the exhaled gases. Non-invasive assessment of muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2) is a novel method for recording local oxygen levels. By this technology, it is possible to evaluate the muscle limitation to exercise. In PFC, that limitation could be attributed to higher contractions of respiratory (ventilatory changes) and/ or locomotor muscles (peripheral load).


To evaluate in PFC the changes at SmO2 of respiratory and locomotor muscles during a maximum and incremental exercise protocol (cardiopulmonary test, VO2-peak).


Six PFC (5 men; 13.8±2.9 years; 158±9 cm; 49.8±13.3 kg) were assessed during the VO2peak test (23.0±4.5mL·kg-1·min-1) by cyclo-ergospirometry synchronously with SmO2 at respiratory (SmO2-m.Intercostales) and locomotor (SmO2-m. Vastus-Laterallis) muscles by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS).


SmO2-m.Intercostales decreased from 60% of VO2-peak (p<0.05), while SmO2-m.Vastus-Laterallis did not change. Minute ventilation (VE) increased progressively, showing changes to rest at 60% of VO2-peak (p<0.05). The higher deoxygenation of SmO2-m.Intercostales (∆SmO2) correlated to maximum changes of lung ventilation (∆VE) (rho=0.80; p=0.05).


During an incremental and maximum exercise protocol, patients with Fontan circulation have more work at respiratory than locomotor muscles. Changes in VE are direct associated with greater extraction of oxygen at respiratory muscles, reinforcing the incorporation of respiratory muscle training in cardiovascular rehabilitation.

Keywords : Exercise; Muscle oxygenation; Heart disease, Fontan.

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