Fatigue is often experienced after liver transplantation. The aims of this cross-sectional study were to assess physical fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness, neuromuscular fitness, body composition) in liver transplant recipients and to explore whether physical fitness is related to severity of fatigue. In addition, we explored the relationship between physical fitness and health-related quality of life. Included were 18 patients 1-5 years after transplantation (aged 48.0 ± 11.8 years) with varying severity of fatigue. Peak oxygen uptake during cycle ergometry, 6-min walk distance, isokinetic muscle strength of the knee extensors, body mass index, waist circumference, skinfold thickness, severity of fatigue, and health-related quality of life were measured. Cardiorespiratory fitness in the liver transplant recipients was on average 16-34% lower than normative values (P ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, the prevalence of obesity seemed to be higher than in the general population (17 vs. 10%). We found no deficit in neuromuscular fitness. Cardiorespiratory fitness was the only fitness component that was related with severity of fatigue (rs= -0.61 to rs= -0.50, P≥ 0.05). Particularly cardiorespiratory fitness was related with several aspects of health-related quality of life (rs= 0.48 to rs= 0.70, P ≤ 0.05). Results of our study imply that cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition are impaired in liver transplant recipients and that fitness is related with severity of fatigue (only cardiorespiratory fitness) and quality of life (particularly cardiorespiratory fitness) in this group. These findings have implications for the development of rehabilitation programs for liver transplant recipients.

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doi.org/10.1007/s00421-007-0435-6, hdl.handle.net/1765/36904
European Journal of Applied Physiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Ginneken, B., van den Berg-Emons, R., Kazemier, G., Metselaar, H., Tilanus, H., & Stam, H. (2007). Physical fitness, fatigue, and quality of life after liver transplantation. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 100(3), 345–353. doi:10.1007/s00421-007-0435-6