Objective assessment of metabolism and guidance of ICU rehabilitation with cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

Whittle J; San-Millán I

Current opinion in critical care [Curr Opin Crit Care] 2021 May 11. Date of Electronic Publication: 2021 May 11.

Purpose of Review: Addressing the reduced quality of life that affects ICU survivors is the most pressing challenge in critical care medicine. In order to meet this challenge, we must translate lessons learnt from assessing and training athletes to the clinical population, utilizing measurable and targeted parameters obtained during cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET).
Recent Findings: Critical illness survivors demonstrate a persistent reduction in their physical and metabolic function. This manifests in reduced aerobic exercise capacity and metabolic inflexibility. CPET-guided targeted metabolic conditioning has proved beneficial in several clinical populations, including those undergoing high-risk surgery, and could be successfully applied to the rehabilitation of ICU survivors.
Summary: CPET shows great promise in the guidance of rehabilitation in functionally limited ICU survivors. Parallels in the physiological response to exercise in athletes and clinical populations with the stress and consequences of critical illness must be investigated and ultimately applied to the burgeoning population of ICU survivors in order to treat the consequences of survival from critical illness.