Baltimore, Maryland 21201

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation


The International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation Registry data shows that there is a growing population of critically ill patients with advanced lung disease undergoing lung transplantation. The goal of our study is to evaluate the role of intensive physical therapy for patients with advanced lung disease requiring transplant or ECMO(extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)- bridge to transplant with emphasis on the restoration of functional independence and prevention of functional declines after lung transplantation. The project is a designed as a randomized prospective research study investigating the impact of a multi-modal rehabilitation program(MRP), which incorporates neuromuscular electric stimulation(NMES), strength and mobility training, and nutritional supplementation(NS) in ameliorating the loss of muscle mass and strength, and lower extremity balance, strength and coordination that will decrease time on the ventilator or ECMO, stay in the ICU and hospital.

Study summary:

Intensive rehabilitation is recognized as an essential component to successful outcomes for post procedure recovery after a major cardio-thoracic procedure. The investigators propose a unique multi-modal rehabilitation program (MRP) that combines a step-up physical therapy protocol with neuromuscular electric stimulation (NMES), nutritional supplementation (NS), occupational therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation techniques to achieve improved functional outcomes for advanced lung disease patients requiring transplantation or ECMO-bridge to transplant. The investigators hypothesized that a progressive rehabilitation program, incorporating neuromuscular electric stimulation, strength and balance training, and nutritional supplementation with essential amino acids will reduce sarcopenia and loss of functional mobility in patients with advanced lung disease requiring transplantation or ECMO-bridge to transplant. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a progressive rehabilitation program, which incorporates neuromuscular electric stimulation, strength and mobility training, and nutritional supplementation in ameliorating 1) the loss of muscle mass and strength, and lower extremity balance, strength and coordination, 2) time on the ventilator or ECMO, stay in the intense care unit and hospital, and 3) return home and quality of life compared to usual ICU care. The investigators propose a prospective, randomized interventional trial assessing the effectiveness of the program in decreasing adverse post-transplant outcomes compared to usual care. All advanced lung disease patients listed for transplantation or requiring ECMO cannulation will be screened for this study according to the inclusion and exclusion criterion. The patients will be randomized to either the treatment arm or usual care within 72 hours after the procedure (transplant or ECMO cannulation if patient requires ECMO-bridge to transplant). All groups of patients will undergo an initial global assessment of functional capabilities after listing for lung transplantation and then again within 72 hours after cardio-thoracic procedure (transplant or ECMO cannulation). Patients in the treatment arm will receive additional physical therapy that include: arm and leg exercises, using light weight machines, hand weights, or rubber bands, exercise machines such as portable arm or seated bikes. The treatment group will receive exercise therapy plus therapy with an electric stimulator device. This device uses weak electric impulses to involuntarily exercise the muscles (one-two sessions a day, with each session starting off at 10 minutes, then increasing to a maximum of 30 minutes). Subjects receiving the intervention will receive daily treatment using the neuromuscular electric stimulation unit. Four muscle groups (quadriceps and dorsiflexors bilaterally) will be stimulated using 3x5 inch surface electrodes (quadriceps) and 2x4 inch (dorsiflexors). In addition, patients in the experimental group will receive nutrition supplementation with essential amino acids 3 times a day in their feeding to prevent muscle breakdown and promote positive nitrogen balance. Comprehensive re-assessments are repeated on a weekly basis and the therapy will be adjusted to the patient's clinical status.


Inclusion Criteria: - Advanced lung disease requiring lung transplantation - Advanced lung disease requiring ECMO bridge to lung transplantation - Patient or legally authorized representative are able to provide written or witnessed verbal consent. Exclusion Criteria: - Unable to obtain consent from patient or family member - Advanced lung disease but not transplant candidate due to other comorbidities - Patient is deemed unsafe for rehabilitation by the transplant physician



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Irina Timofte
University of Maryland, College Park

Irina Timofte, MD
Phone: 410 328 2864

Backup Contact:

Avelino Verceles, MD
Phone: 410-328-8141

Location Contact:

Baltimore, Maryland 21201
United States

Irina o Timofte
Phone: 410-328-2864

Site Status: Recruiting

Data Source:

Date Processed: June 20, 2021

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