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Can J Cardiol. 2006 May 1;22(6):489-95.

Exercise capacity and impact of exercise training in patients after a Fontan procedure: a review.

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Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie, Hôpital Laval, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec.


After a successful Fontan procedure, children and adolescents should improve their exercise capacity. However, several studies have shown that these children have a reduced maximal oxygen consumption compared with healthy children. The lower exercise performance in these patients was mainly explained by a reduced cardiorespiratory functional capacity. However, it has recently been reported that the lower exercise performance may also be related to altered skeletal muscle function. Moreover, exercise training had a beneficial impact on several parameters related to exercise tolerance in these patients. The main studies supporting these observations are reviewed, with a focus on the physiological adaptation and limitation of the exercise performance as well as the benefits of exercise training in patients after a Fontan procedure.

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