This study, sponsored by Children’s Hospital Boston, is currently recruiting participants for this clinical trial, the purpose of which is to study the effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) on exercise and pulmonary function parameters in a cohort of adult Fontan patients.
According to The Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center in the U.S., “the Fontan procedure is a surgical procedure performed for single ventricle physiology. Patients with single ventricle physiology have hearts with only one effective pumping chamber that delivers blood to both the body and the lungs.
Because there is only one ventricle instead of two, blood without oxygen mixes with oxygenated blood in this single chamber, so the oxygen content of the blood going to the body is considerably lower than normal. Uncorrected, this leads to long term cyanosis (or blueness), and associated issues such as exercise intolerance, elevated blood pressures in the lungs, abnormally high red blood cell counts and bleeding disorders, to name a few.
The Fontan operation allows for separation of the two circulations by re-routing under-oxygenated blood from the body directly to the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, thereby allowing the single ventricle to pump only oxygenated blood to the body. This creates a more normal circulation, and reduces the complications described above.”
The investigators of this new clinical study hypothesize that a 12-week program of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) with an inspiratory impedance threshold device will improve inspiratory muscle strength and endurance, and that this will translate into improved exercise performance in patients with Fontan physiology.