Published online Sep 24, 2016. doi: 10.5500/wjt.v6.i3.517
Peer-review started: April 28, 2016
First decision: June 16, 2016
Revised: July 31, 2016
Accepted: August 17, 2016
Article in press: August 18, 2016
Published online: September 24, 2016
Physical rehabilitation of lung transplant candidates and recipients plays an important in optimizing physical function prior to transplant and facilitating recovery of function post-transplant. As medical and surgical interventions in lung transplantation have evolved over time, there has been a demographic shift of individuals undergoing lung transplantation including older individuals, those with multiple co-morbidites, and candidates with respiratory failure requiring bridging to transplantation. These changes have an impact on the rehabilitation needs of lung transplant candidates and recipients. This review provides a practical approach to rehabilitation based on research and clinical practice at our transplant centre. It focuses on functional assessment and exercise prescription during an uncomplicated and complicated clinical course in the pre-transplant, early and late post-transplant periods. The target audience includes clinicians involved in pre- and post-transplant patient care and rehabilitation researchers.
Core tip: This expert review brings together clinical experience and research evidence on physical rehabilitation for lung transplant candidates and recipients. The evaluation of exercise capacity, muscle function, mobility, activities of daily living and physical activity is discussed. Rehabilitation training guidelines for pre-transplant, acute care, early and late post-transplant phases are provided with special attention to complicated and uncomplicated clinical courses. Special populations such as heart-lung transplant and paediatric lung transplant are also included.