Background and objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the aerobic capacity of children 3 years after they were diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Methods: Twenty-seven patients who completed both pulmonary function and maximal aerobic capacity tests at 6 and 15 months after the acute illness were invited to return for reassessment. Results: Twenty-one patients (median age 18.2 years, interquartile range (IQR) 16.5-19.7) completed all investigations at 36 months. Pulmonary function was normal in all patients. Maximal aerobic capacity, peak oxygen pulse (peak VO 2) and ventilatory anaerobic threshold showed significant improvements compared with values measured at 6 months in both boys and girls. In girls, ventilatory efficiency (ventilatory equivalents for oxygen and carbon dioxide) and perfusion of the lungs (end-tidal partial carbon dioxide pressure) had not increased further compared with the values measured at 15 months. Although peak VO 2 improved further at 36 months in patients with or without persistent radiological abnormalities, the values were 68% (IQR 50-84) and 74% (IQR 60-99), respectively, of those for normal control subjects. Conclusions: There were improvements in aerobic capacity at 36 months in children affected by SARS; however, the measured values remained suboptimal. This long-term follow-up study demonstrated that the aerobic capacity of children improved three years after the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome, but the values remained suboptimal.
- aerobic capacity
- pulmonary function
- severe acute respiratory syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine