Perioperative Exercise Testing in Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women of Reproductive Age: A Systematic Review.

Spicer MG; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,  Alice Springs, NT 0870, Australia.
Dennis AT; Department of Anaesthesia, Pain and Perioperative Medicine, Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital,

Journal of clinical medicine [J Clin Med] 2024 Jan 11; Vol. 13 (2).
Date of Electronic Publication: 2024 Jan 11.

Background: Women have classically been excluded from the development of normal data and reference ranges, with pregnant women experiencing further neglect. The incidence of Caesarean section in pregnant women, and of general operative management in young women (both pregnant and non-pregnant), necessitates the formal development of healthy baseline data in these cohorts to optimise their perioperative management. This systematic review assesses the representation of young women in existing reference ranges for several functional exercise tests in common use to facilitate functional assessment in this cohort.
Methods: Existing reference range data for the exercise tests the Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT), the Incremental Shuttle Walk Test (ISWT) and Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET) in young women of reproductive age were assessed using the MEDLINE (Ovid) database, last searched December 2023. Results were comparatively tabulated but not statistically analysed given underlying variances in data.
Results: The role of exercise testing in the perioperative period as an assessment tool, as well as its safety during pregnancy, was evaluated using 65 studies which met inclusion criteria.
Conclusion: There is a significant lack of baseline data regarding these tests in this population, especially amongst the pregnant cohort, which limits the application of exercise testing clinically.