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Ann Transplant. 2011 Jul-Sep;16(3):126-31.

Physical activity long-term after liver transplantation yields better quality of life.

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Division of Rehabilitation, Department of Physiotherapy, 2nd Medical Faculty of Medical University of Warsaw, Poland.



Transplantation is the only effective method of treatment for end-stage and acute liver failure. Increased average survival time has been observed, and results from improved surgical technique and amended immunosuppression protocols. However, longer survival of patients after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) results in higher rate of various complications and ailments (eg, chronic fatigue, anxiousness, social isolation). Hence, gradual deterioration of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is likely. The goal of this study was to examine the relation between physical activity and quality of life in patients 5 years after OLT.


Twenty-six randomly selected patients who survived more than 5 years after orthotopic liver transplantation were included into the study. An SF-36 questionnaire was used for assessment of quality of life. Physical activity was measured subjectively by characterizing its type, duration and frequency per week during the previous 12 months. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the results of physical activity assessment. Group A consisted of patients who had indicated they had a sedentary life style, and group B of those regularly engaging in physical exercise.


Results of the SF-36 questionnaire in 10 categories were compared between the 2 groups. The majority of aspects of health-related quality of life (physical function, body problems, general health, social function, and emotional reaction) were significantly improved in patients who indicated they regularly engaged in physical exercise.


Better quality of life was observed in patients who were physically active after OLT. Improving life quality with regular physical activity could be a valuable supplementation of complex management of OLT recipients.

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