Aerobic Capacity After Traumatic Brain Injury: Comparison With a Nondisabled Cohort

Kurt A. Mossberg, Danielle Ayala, Tracey Baker, Justin Heard, Brent Masel

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    58 Scopus citations


    Mossberg KA, Ayala D, Baker T, Heard J, Masel B. Aerobic capacity after traumatic brain injury: comparison with a nondisabled cohort. Objective: To compare aerobic capacity of people recovering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) with an age- and sex-matched group of nondisabled sedentary people. Design: Descriptive comparative study of peak and submaximal physiologic responses. Setting: Residential postacute treatment center. Participants: Convenience sample of 13 people with TBI and 13 age- and sex-matched nondisabled subjects. All subjects could walk 5.3kph (3.3mph), follow 2-step commands, and comply with testing using the gas collection apparatus. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Subjects performed a graded maximal treadmill test during which heart rate, minute ventilation (V̇e), oxygen consumption (V̇o2), carbon dioxide production, and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were measured every minute until exhaustion. Ventilatory equivalents for oxygen (V̇e/V̇o2) and oxygen pulse were calculated. Results: Subjects recovering from TBI had significantly lower peak responses for heart rate, Vo2, Ve, and oxygen pulse TBI (P<.01). Peak RER and Ve/Vo2 were similar. There were significant differences in submaximal responses for V̇e/V̇o2 and oxygen pulse. Conclusions: Patients with TBI were significantly more deconditioned than a comparable group of sedentary people without disability. Participation in cardiorespiratory fitness programs after TBI should be encouraged to prevent secondary disability.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)315-320
    Number of pages6
    JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2007


    • Brain injuries
    • Head injuries, closed
    • Physical endurance
    • Rehabilitation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
    • Rehabilitation


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