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Aerobic capacity with two leg work versus one leg plus both arms work in men with peripheral vascular disease

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      Abstract

      The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the correlation between ergometry in men with peripheral vascular disease exercising with both legs and with one leg and both arms. Fifteen men with peripheral vascular disease performed three symptom-limited exercise tests on an ergometer that could be operated from a wheelchair with both legs or with one leg and both arms. The three exercise conditions were both legs (arms stabilized), left leg plus both arms, and right leg plus both arms. The exercise parameters compared were maximum oxygen consumption, maximum heart rate, and duration of exercise. Blood pressure was monitored at two-minute intervals and oxygen saturation and electrocardiogram were monitored continuously. The mean VO2max ± standard deviation for both legs, right leg plus both arms, and left leg plus both arms were 14.36 ± 6.15, 14.86 ± 4.09, 14.01 ± 4.14ml O2/kg-min, respectively. The mean duration of exercise ± standard deviation were 12.01 ± 5.74, 10.94 ± 4.68, and 9.81 ± 4.70 minutes respectively. The mean maximum heart rate ± standard deviation were 126 ± 24, 137 ± 23, 136 ± 23, respectively for the same exercise conditions. The Pearson Correlation Coefficients for VO2 for both legs versus right leg plus both arms and left leg plus both arms were .639 and .873, respectively. The Pearson Correlation Coefficients for duration of exercise for both legs versus right leg plus both arms and left leg plus both arms were .837 and .877, respectively. The Pearson Correlation Coefficients for maximum heart rate for both legs versus right leg plus both arms and left leg plus both arms were .804 and .882, respectively. These data establish strong correlations between measures of exercise capacity with both legs versus one leg plus both arms in these men with peripheral vascular disease with no amputation. The data suggest that the methods described here for ergometry with one leg plus both arms are a valid measure of exercise capacity in unilateral lower extremity amputees.

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