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03-28-2007, 09:48 PM
Not only can most children with a heart transplant exercise safely, but new research suggests that the transplanted heart's response to exercise gradually improves.

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston analyzed 182 maximal treadmill exercise tests performed serially (usually annually) in 51 children who had received a heart transplant. The tests showed a steady improvement in peak heart rate; 2, 4, 6 and 8 years after transplant, peak heart rates were 75, 78, 81 and 84 percent of predicted heart rate, respectively.

More importantly, over time, heart rates recovered more quickly from peak exercise. "These data suggest that there is a spontaneous re-growth of nerves into a substantial proportion of transplanted hearts, allowing patients to reach higher heart rates with exercise and to cool down more quickly," says T. P. Singh, MD, a cardiologist in the Heart Failure/Transplant Service at Children's and the study's lead author.

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Source: Children's Hospital Boston presents at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions

Monday, Mar 26, 2007, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Room: Hall H
Presentation Number: 1023-32 (Pediatric Cardiology Poster Session)
Abstract Title: Longitudinal Changes in Chronotropic Response to Exercise and Heart Rate Recovery in Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients

Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is the nation's leading pediatric medical center, the largest provider of health care to Massachusetts children, and the primary pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. In addition to 347 pediatric and adolescent inpatient beds and comprehensive outpatient programs, Children's houses the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries benefit both children and adults. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 10 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. For more information about the hospital visit: http://www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.

Contact: Anna Gonski
Children's Hospital Boston (http://www.childrenshospital.org/research)