Physical fitness and its association with fatigue in patients with low-grade glioma

Ellen M. P. van Coevorden-van Loon*, Herwin H. L. D. Horemans, Majanka H. Heijenbrok-Kal, Rita J. G. van den Berg-Emons, Robert Rozenberg, Arnaud J. P. E. Vincent, Gerard M. Ribbers, Martin J. van den Bent

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose To evaluate physical fitness and its association with fatigue in patients with low grade glioma (LGG). Methods Cross-sectional study. Muscle strength was measured with a digital dynamometer, cardiorespiratory fitness (peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), maximal workload (MWL)) by cardiopulmonary-exercise-testing, and fatigue by using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory. Results Thirty patients were included, mean age of 44.1 (SD11.2) years, and 67% were men, 31.2 (SD18) months post-diagnosis. Muscle strength (p < 0.01), and cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak, MWL) (p < 0.01) were significantly decreased compared to predicted values based on age and gender. Thirty percent of the patients experienced severe physical fatigue, and severe mental fatigue was reported in 57% of the patients. Cardiorespiratory fitness showed weak to moderate (r - 0.46 to r - 0.52) but significant (p < 0.01) correlations with physical fatigue, not with mental and general fatigue. Muscle strength was not associated with fatigue. A lower VO2peak was independently associated with a higher level of physical fatigue, adjusted for Karnofsky Performance Status (R-2 0.40). Conclusions Physical fitness (muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness) is reduced in patients with LLG, and a lower level of cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak) is independently associated with a higher level of experienced physical fatigue. Trials to explore the benefit of exercise programs to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and, consequently, fatigue are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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