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Pulmonary and extrapulmonary impairments are prevalent in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) which is a rare, chronic and progressive disease.


To investigate the effects of upper extremity aerobic exercise training on exercise capacity, oxygen consumption, dyspnea and quality of life in patients with PAH.


In a prospective, randomized controlled, double-blinded study, eleven patients in training group applied upper extremity aerobic exercise training (50–80% of maximal heart rate), 15–45 min/day, 3 days a week for 6 weeks and 11 patients in control group alternating active upper extremity exercises for the same period. Exercise capacity evaluated using six minute walk test (6MWT), oxygen consumption simultaneously measured during 6MWT using a portable instrument, dyspnea modified Borg scale and Modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale and quality of life Short Form 36 Health Survey, before and after the exercise training.


Baseline characteristics of groups were similar (p>0.05). Dyspnea (p<0.001) and peak oxygen consumption (p = 0.031) were significantly improved in training group compared the controls. Dyspnea, exercise capacity, peak oxygen consumption, minute ventilation, tidal volume, end tidal carbon-dioxide pressure, and vitality, social functioning and role-physical were significantly improved within training group (p<0.05). Oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold were significantly decreased within control group (p<0.05).

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