Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

John Fahey, MD


Exercise intolerance is a common extracardiac complication in adults with congenital heart disease. Cardiovascular, pulmonary, and musculoskeletal factors constitute its multifactorial etiology, and current therapeutic interventions inadequately address the pulmonary component. Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to improve exercise capacity, but limited research has assessed the efficacy of inspiratory muscle training on adults with congenital heart disease and comorbid restrictive lung disease. The aim of this double-blinded control trial is to determine if cardiopulmonary rehabilitation with inspiratory muscle training will improve respiratory muscle function along with ventilatory and metabolic parameters. Baseline cardiopulmonary fitness will be established by cardiopulmonary exercise testing with spirometry and maximal respiratory pressure measurement to construct an individualized exercise regimen. Respiratory muscle function will be reassessed post-rehabilitation to monitor improvement. Study results could support the use of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation as a preventative therapy, which can be applied to other chronic conditions associated with exercise intolerance.


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