Long-Term burn survivors have reduced aerobic capacity, placing them at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, morbidity, and mortality. However, the exact mechanism contributing to a reduced aerobic capacity remains incompletely understood, but may be related to adverse cardiovascular remodeling. Therefore, it was hypothesized that well-healed burn survivors would exhibit adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling and impaired LV function. To test this hypothesis, 22 well-healed moderately burned individuals (age: 41 ± 14 years; BMI: 27.7 ± 5.4 kg/m 2; male/female: 12/10; extent of burn: 37 ± 12 %BSA), 11 well-healed severely burned individuals (age: 43 ± 12 years; BMI: 29.5 ± 5.8 kg/m 2; male/female: 8/3; extent of burn: 73 ± 11 %BSA), and 12 healthy, age-matched controls (age: 34 ± 9 years; BMI: 28.6 ± 5.2 kg/m 2; male/female: 5/7) were enrolled in the study. All subjects were sedentary, performing less than 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, 3 days per week. LV morphology and function were assessed via cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. In contrast to the hypothesis, neither the presence nor severity of burn injury adversely affected LV morphology or function, when compared with equally sedentary nonburned controls. However, of note, LV mass of all three groups was in the lowest 5th percentile compared with normative values. Finally, group differences in LV morphology were largely explained by differences in aerobic capacity. Taken together, these data suggest a prior burn injury itself does not result in pathological remodeling of the LV and support a role for aerobic exercise training to improve cardiac function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine