[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many ambulatory children with spina bifida (SB) decline in their walking despite stable or even improved motor function.
The authors evaluated the effects of a home-based treadmill training program on both ambulatory function and aerobic fitness.
This randomized clinical trial of 34 ambulatory children with SB allocated 18 to supervised treadmill training for 12 weeks at home and 14 to usual care. Patients in home training exercised twice a week at an intensity of 66% of HR(peak) (peak heart rate) and gradually progressed from 70% to 140% of their individual walking speed. Main outcome measures were obtained at baseline, after intervention, and 3 months postintervention. Ambulation was measured using the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), during which gross energy consumption (ECS(gross)) and energy cost were calculated. Maximal exercise capacity was measured using an incremental treadmill test. Both VO(2peak) and speed(peak) were recorded as outcome parameters.
After training, significant changes were seen between the groups for 6MWT (P = .002; d = 1.08), speed(peak) (P = .001; d = 1.14), VO(2peak) (P = .034; d = 0.78), and ECS(gross) (P = .004; d = 1.01). Long-term effects were recorded for 6MWT (P = .003; η = 0.34), speed(peak) (P = .003; η = 0.35), and ECS(gross) (P = .014; η = 0.29) but not for VO(2peak).
A home-based, progressive treadmill training program for ambulatory children with SB has a large long-term effect on ambulation, with a moderate short-term effect on VO(2peak).
Neurorehabilitation and neural repair 03/2011; 25(7):597-606. · 4.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With emerging interest in exercise and lifestyle interventions for children and adolescents with spina bifida, there is a need for appropriate measurements in exercise testing.
The purpose of this study was to assess both reliability and agreement of maximal and submaximal exercise measures in "normal ambulatory" and "community ambulatory" children and adolescents with spina bifida.
This was a reproducibility study.
Twenty-three children and adolescents with spina bifida (10 normal ambulatory and 13 community ambulatory) participated in the study. Maximal exercise outcomes were measured using a graded treadmill test. Peak measures (peak oxygen uptake [V(O2)peak], peak heart rate [HRpeak], heart rate response [HRR], and oxygen pulse) were recorded. For submaximal measures, heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (V(O2)) at the ventilatory threshold and oxygen uptake efficiency slope (OUES) were derived from the maximal measures. Functional performance was measured as the 6-minute walking distance and the maximal speed during the treadmill test. After checking for normality and heteroscedasticity, paired t tests, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), and the smallest detectable difference (SDD) or the coefficient of variation (CV) were calculated.
Performance measures showed good reliability and agreement. For maximal measures, acceptable ICCs were found for all measures. For submaximal measures, only HR at the ventilatory threshold showed an ICC of less than .80. Agreement showed a CV of less than 10% for all measures, except for V(O2) at the ventilatory threshold, HRR, and OUES.
Limitations of the study include missing data due to equipment failure. Furthermore, the outcomes were limited to normal ambulatory and community ambulatory children and adolescents with spina bifida.
Both maximal and submaximal measures of exercise testing can be used for discriminative purposes in ambulatory children and adolescents with spina bifida. For evaluative purposes, HR measures are superior to V(O2) measures, while taking into account the individual variation of 5% to 8%. The SDD was 0.5 km/h for peak speed and 36.3 m for 6-minute walking distance. Heart rate response, oxygen pulse, and OUES are not recommended in the evaluation of exercise testing in this population.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many ambulatory children with Spina Bifida (SB) experience functional decline in ambulation despite stable or even improving motor exams. Improving or maintaining low energy cost of locomotion during childhood and throughout the teenage years, could be an important goal for children and adolescents with SB. Purpose of this study was to determine reproducibility of energy expenditure measures during gait in ambulatory children with SB.
Child Development and Exercise Center of the University Children's Hospital in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Fourteen ambulatory children (6 boys/8 girls) with SB. Mean age was 10.8 years (+ or - 3.4).
Net and gross energy expenditure measures during locomotion were determined during a six-minute walking test. These measures consisted of energy consumption (ECS), expressed in J/kg/min, and energy cost (EC), expressed in J/kg/m. For reliability, the intra-class coefficient (ICC) was determined. For agreement, the smallest detectable difference (SDD) was calculated.
ICCs vary from 0.86 to 0.96 for both EC and ECS. The SDD ranges from 18-24% for gross measures, up to over 30% for net values.
Reproducibility of energy expenditure during ambulation in children with SB should be considered carefully when using these measures in the evaluation of gait. High reliability of energy expenditure measurements makes these measurements appropriate to use as discriminative tools in children with SB, while agreement of only gross EC seems acceptable to use as a evaluative tool in children with SB. Overall, measures of reliability and agreement seem higher in young children when compared to adolescents. Further research is recommended to determine clinically relevant changes in energy expenditure in children with SB.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the physical function and fitness in survivors of childhood leukaemia 5-6 years after cessation of chemotherapy.
Thirteen children (six boys and seven girls; mean age 15.5 years) who were treated for leukaemia were studied 5-6 years after cessation of therapy. Physical function and fitness were determined by anthropometry, motor performance, muscle strength, anaerobic and aerobic exercise capacity.
On motor performance, seven of the 13 patients showed significant problems in the hand-eye co-ordination domain. Muscle strength only showed a significantly lower value in the mean strength of the knee extensors. The aerobic and the anaerobic capacity were both significantly reduced compared to reference values.
Even 5-6 years after cessation of childhood leukaemia treatment, there are still clear late effects on motor performance and physical fitness. Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and muscle atrophies are probably the prominent cause for these reduced test results. Physical training might be indicated for patients surviving leukaemia to improve fitness levels and muscle strength.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to interpret the outcomes of peak oxygen uptake (VO(2peak)) in children with SB and explore the relationship between VO(2peak) and functional ambulation using retrospective cross-sectional study. Twenty-three ambulating children with SB participated at Wilhelmina's Children's Hospital Utrecht, the Netherlands. VO(2peak) was measured during a graded treadmill-test. Eschenbacher's and Maninna's algorithm was used to determine limiting factors in reaching low VO(2peak) values. Energy expenditure during locomotion (both O(2) rate and O(2) cost) and percentage of VO(2peak) and HR(peak) were determined during a 6-min walking test (6MWT). Differences between community and normal ambulators were analyzed. VO(2peak), VO(2peak)/kg, HR(peak), RER(peak) and VE (peak) were significantly lower compared to reference values, with significant differences between normal and community ambulators. Limiting factors according to the algorithm were mostly "muscular and/or deconditioning" (47%) and ventilatory "gasexchange" (35%). Distance walked during 6MWT was 48.5% of predicted distance. Both O(2) rate and O(2) cost were high with significant differences between normal and community ambulators [17.6 vs. 21.9 ml/(kg min) and 0.27 vs 0.43 ml/(kg m)]. Also %HR(peak) and %VO(2peak) were significantly higher in community ambulators when compared to normal ambulators (resp. 97.6 vs. 75% and 90.2 vs. 55.9%). VO(2peak) seems to be mostly limited by deconditioning and/or muscular components and possible ventilatory factors. For both peak values and functional ambulation, community ambulators were significantly more impaired than normal ambulators. High energy expenditure, %VO(2peak) and %HR(peak) reflect high level of strain during ambulation in the community ambulators. Future exercise testing in children with SB should include assessment of ventilatory reserve. Exercise training in ambulatory children should focus on increasing both VO(2peak) and muscular endurance, as well as decreasing energy cost of locomotion.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional study investigates deficits and associations in muscle strength, 6-minute walking distance (6MWD), aerobic capacity (VO(2peak)), and physical activity (PA) in independent ambulatory children with lumbosacral spina bifida.
Twenty-tree children participated (13 boys, 10 girls). Mean age (SD): 10.4 (+/-3.1) years. Muscle strength (manual muscle testing and hand-held dynamometry), 6MWD, VO(2peak) (maximal exercise test on a treadmill), and PA (quantity and energy expenditure [EE]), were measured and compared with aged-matched reference values.
Strength of upper and lower extremity muscles, and VO(2peak) were significantly lower compared to reference values. Mean Z-scores ranged from -1.2 to -2.9 for muscle strength, and from -1.7 to -4.1 for VO2peak. EE ranged from 73 - 84% of predicted EE. 6MWD was significantly associated with muscle strength of hip abductors and foot dorsal flexors. VO(2peak) was significantly associated with strength of hip flexors, hip abductors, knee extensors, foot dorsal flexors, and calf muscles.
These children have significantly reduced muscle strength, 6MWD, VO(2peak) and lower levels of PA, compared to reference values. VO(2peak) and 6MWD were significantly associated with muscle strength, especially with hip abductor and ankle muscles. Therefore, even in independent ambulating children training on endurance and muscle strength seems indicated.
Disability and Rehabilitation 06/2008; · 1.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dynamic perineal ultrasonography to assess the function of the pelvic floor muscles in children with micturition complaints shows that many children with daytime incontinence or recurrent urinary tract infections use their pelvic floor paradoxically. They strain when asked to withhold urine, or they have no voluntary control of the pelvic floor muscles at all. The aim of this study was to record the pelvic floor function and evaluate the physical therapy regimens for children with dysfunctional voiding (DV) and paradoxical pelvic floor function.
A total of 65 patients with DV, many who also had constipation, were diagnosed with paradoxical movement of the pelvic floor. The patients were asked to contract their pelvic floor muscles during a perineal dynamic ultrasound investigation. Of the 52 patients treated by physical therapists, 32 had a single 1-hour biofeedback session with rectal examination and anal balloon expulsion. In the remaining 20 patients, this was followed by 2 weeks of biofeedback balloon expulsion training at home. Forty control patients were observed.
In 13 of the 65 patients, the diagnosis could not be confirmed by the physical therapists. At 6 to 10 months after training, 50 of the 52 other patients had normal voluntary pelvic floor muscle control. Of the 40 control patients, 39 had normal pelvic floor control.
The results of this study have demonstrated that pelvic floor dysfunction occurs frequently in children with DV and can be cured by dedicated physical therapy. The clinical importance of this phenomenon is not yet clear. Prospective studies will teach us more about the true incidence and therapeutic effect of pelvic floor dysfunction on DV.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abbreviations: 6 months after diagnosis, (T3); 6 months after the end of treatment, (T5); 6-mercaptopurine, (6MP); 6-thioguanine, (6TG); acute lymphoblastic leukemia, (ALL); at diagnosis, (T1); at the end of treatment, (T4); cytosine-arabinoside, (Ara-C); daunorubicine, (DNR); dexamethasone, (dexa); dose of intrathecal medications is based on age, (*); doxorubicine, (Adria); Dutch Childhood Leukemia Study Group, (DCLSG); event-free survival, (EFS); following induction, (T2); intrathecal, (i.th)); L-asparaginase, (L-Asp); methotrexate, (MTX); Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory, (PEDI); prednisone, (Pred); T-cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, (T-NHL); vincristine, (VCR) Summary The aim of this pilotstudy was to explore the course of muscular strength, functional skills, and motor performance in children during and after treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or T-cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (T-NHL). Eighteen children and adolescents, aged between 0-18 years, with standard-risk ALL or with T-NHL were included in this prospective descriptive study. Nine were treated according to a BFM-based protocol (ALL-8), and 9 with protocol ALL-9 which is an antimetabolite-based treatment and uses high doses of dexamethasone and vincristine. Since there were no statistically significant differences between these two groups, the data were pooled for analysis. Muscle strength and functional skills were measured during and after treatment. Motor performance was measured only after treatment. Muscle weakness occurred in all patients, and was most severe during the first two months of treatment. After cessation of treatment, muscle strength recovered towards normal for most muscle groups, although knee-and foot extensors were still decreased as compared to reference values. Similarly, functional skills were also deficient in the first two months, mainly concerning transfers, walking, and going up-and down stairs. After cessation of treatment, these basic skills normalized. Six months after treatment, fine motor problems were present in 2 patients, and gross motor problems in 4 of the 18 patients. Muscle weakness and mobility problems were most severe in the first two months of treatment. These problems were reversible in most patients. However, in some children muscle weakness and fine and motor deficits were present after treatment.
Cancer Therapy Vol Cancer Therapy Vol. 01/2006; 4(4):241-248.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate determinants of functional independence and study which functional abilities were determinants for 'health-related quality of life' in children with myelomeningocele.
Cross-sectional study by means of clinical assessment, 'disability' measurement and questionnaires. Uni- and multivariate logistic regression models were used to investigate factors that were determinants for these outcomes. Results were expressed as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
Outpatient spina bifida clinic at a university hospital.
One hundred and twenty-two children with myelomeningocele. Mean age 7.9; range 1-18 years.
Functional independence as measured by the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), and quality of life as measured by the Spina Bifida Health Related Quality of Life Questionnaire.
Lesion level below L3 (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.1-1.0), mental status of IQ > or =80 (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.2-14.9), having no contractures in lower extremities (OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.3-8.8), and having normal strength of knee extensor muscles (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.4-11.5) were most strongly associated with independence in self-care. Mental status (OR 16.1, 95% CI 2.8-93.9), having no contractures in lower extremities (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.4-5.3), and normal strength in knee extensors (OR 11.0, 95% CI 1.3-97.0) were the most important determinants for independence in mobility. Concerning functional abilities, being independent with regard to mobility was the most important determinant for 'health-related quality of life' (OR 5.3, 95% CI 1.6-17.4).
In children with myelomeningocele, good muscle strength, mental ability and being independent in mobility appeared to be much more important for daily life function and quality of life than other medical indicators of the disorder.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the influence of spinal fusion on ambulation and functional abilities in children with spina bifida for whom early mobilization was stimulated. Ten children (three males and seven females) with myelomeningocele were prospectively followed. Their mean age at operation was 9.3 years (standard deviation (SD): 2.4). Spinal curvature was measured according to Cobb. Pelvic obliquity and trunk decompensation were measured as well. The ambulation level was scored according to Hoffer, and functional abilities, as well as the amount of caregiver assistance, were documented using the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory. All patients were assessed before surgery and three times after surgery, with a total follow-up duration of 18 months after surgery. After spinal fusion, magnitude of primary curvature decreased significantly (p=0.002). Pelvic obliquity and trunk decompensation did not change. In spite of less immobilization as compared with other reported experiences, ambulation became difficult in three out of four patients who had been able to ambulate prior to surgery. Functional abilities and amount of caregiver assistance concerning self-care (especially regarding dressing upper and lower body, and self-catheterization) and mobility (especially regarding transfers) showed a nonsignificant trend to deterioration within the first 6 months after surgery, but recovered afterwards. From pre-surgery to 18 months after surgery, functional skills on self-care showed borderline improvement (p=0.07), whereas mobility did not (p=0.2). Mean scores on caregiver assistance improved significantly on self-care (p=0.03), and borderline on mobility (p=0.06), meaning that less caregiver assistance was needed compared with pre-surgery. The complication rate was high (80%). In conclusion, within the first 6 months after spinal fusion, more caregiver assistance is needed in self-care and mobility. It takes about 12 months to recover to pre-surgery level, while small improvement is seen afterwards. After spinal fusion, ambulation often becomes difficult, especially in exercise walkers. These findings are important for health-care professionals, in order to inform and prepare the patients and their parents properly for a planned spinal fusion.
European Spine Journal 06/2005; 14(4):415-22. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate functional outcome in two groups of children with sacral level paralysis: myelomeningocele (MMC) versus lipomyelomeningocele (LMMC). Additionally both groups were compared with each other and when possible with reference values.
Cross-sectional study by means of (1) clinical assessment, and (2) disability measurement.
Spina bifida outpatient clinic at a university hospital in the Netherlands.
Sample of 30 children with MMC and 14 with LMMC. Mean age (SD) 6.0 (4.9) and 8.4 (4.9) years respectively.
Muscle strength, ambulation level, motor performance (Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID) and Movement Assessment Battery for Children), and the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI).
The majority of patients in both groups were normal ambulant, 14/21 (67%) in MMC and 9/14 (64%) in LMMC. Ambulation was strongly associated with muscle strength of hip abductors (odds ratio (OR): 13.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.5-73.7), and ankle dorsal-flexor muscles (OR: 110, 95% CI 8.9-135.9). No significant differences were found in lesion and ambulation level. Muscle strength and motor performance were significantly lower in the MMC group than in the LMMC group (p < 0.05). PEDI scores were comparable in both groups. Most problems were noted in mobility skills and caregiver assistance in self-care, especially regarding bladder and bowel management.
Gross motor and functional problems were seen in both groups. The MMC group showed more muscle weakness and motor problems. However, in both groups caregiver assistance was needed for a prolonged period, especially regarding bladder and bowel management. These findings need special attention, particularly in children who attend regular schools.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the long-term outcome of neurosurgical untethering on neurosegmental motor level and ambulation level in children with tethered spinal cord syndrome. Forty-four children were operated on (17 males, 27 females; mean age at operation 6 years 2 months, SD 5 years). Sixteen patients had myelomeningocele, nine had lipomyelomeningocele, and 19 had other types of spinal dysraphism. Motor level and ambulation level were assessed pre- and three times postsurgery (mean duration of follow-up 7 years 1 month, SD 1 year 8 months). Deterioration of motor level was seen in five of 44 patients, 36 of 44 remained stable, while improvement was seen in three of 44 patients. Deterioration of ambulation level was seen in five of 44 patients, and remained stable in 26 of 44. Thirteen of 44 children were too young to ambulate at time of operation (< 2 years 6 months). Late deterioration of motor or ambulation level was only seen in (lipo) myelomeningocele patients. Deterioration of ambulatory status was strongly associated with obesity and retethering. Revision of the initial tethered cord release was performed in nine of 44 patients, mainly in those with lipomyelomeningocele.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated whether haemophilic children who are on prophylactic therapy differ from their healthy peers in terms of motor performance and disability. Thirty-nine children, aged 4-12 years, with moderate (eight) and severe (31) haemophilia were included. Patients with severe haemophilia received primary prophylactic therapy that was individually tailored. The number of target joints, amount of swelling, range of motion, muscular strength and pain were measured, as well as motor skills and disability. The scores were compared to the normal population. No patients had target joints. Normal range of motion in all joints was seen in 97% (38/39) of the patients. Strength of elbow, knee, and ankle muscles were within the normal ranges. Ninety-five percent (37/39) of the patients had normal motor performance. Although 90% of our patients (35/39) had no disabilities in activities of daily living (ADL), 79% (31/39) of them reported that the disease impacted on their lives. Seventy-two percent (28/39) of the patients had pain, and in 21% (6/28) of them this was mainly caused by injections. Restrictions in sports or gymnastics were seen in 56% (22/39) of the patients. Those who indicated that they experienced pain and those who indicated restrictions in sports had a higher chance of experiencing disease impact compared to those who did not have these limitations. There were no significant differences between patients with moderate and severe haemophilia. In general, Dutch children with moderate or severe haemophilia are comparable with their healthy peers with regard to motor performance and ADL. However, a majority of the patients perceive an impact of their disease associated with pain and restrictions in sports.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors postulated that physiotherapy as an adjuvant to the surgical treatment of anterior chest wall deformities is only indicated if specific abnormalities can be found that could be corrected by physiotherapy. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether such abnormalities can be found and to evaluate their course during a postoperative period of 18 months.
Twenty-one patients, 16 with pectus excavatum and 5 with pectus carinatum, were evaluated 6 weeks before and 6 weeks, 6 months, and 18 months after surgical correction. Postural impairments, spinal mobility and curvature, muscle strength, and muscle length were evaluated.
Preoperatively, poor posture was seen in 10 patients, nonstructural scoliosis in 11, and abdominal muscle weakness in 4 patients. None of the patients had restriction of spinal mobility or shortened pectoral muscles. Six weeks after surgery, poor posture was seen in 9, nonstructural scoliosis in 11, and abdominal muscle weakness in 10 patients. The authors found a higher percentage of recovery for abdominal muscle weakness than for poor posture (90% versus 33%, respectively).
The authors found preoperative postural impairments in 52% of their patients, in patients with pectus carinatum as well as in patients with pectus excavatum. In patients without postural impairments, physiotherapy is not necessary, with the exception of postoperative pulmonary care.
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 11/2000; 35(10):1440-3. · 1.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cross-sectional study of 28 patients with multiple congenital contractures of miscellaneous origin is presented. We describe the clinical, genetic, and neurological diagnosis and the involvement of upper and lower extremities and spine. All treatments that patients received so far as well as functional outcome were studied. We compared these factors in children with anterior horn cell degeneration (AHCD) or amyoplasia with those of children with contractures of other origin. A correct genetical diagnosis of multiple congenital contracture is important because children with AHCD will need more extensive treatment than others, and their functional outcome seems to be worse.
Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics B 08/1997; 6(3):172-8. · 0.53 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The childhood form of discitis was diagnosed in a 2-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. They presented with an antalgic posture, muscular defense and a positive Gowers sign. Characteristic symptoms of this childhood discitis form the triad: unexplained fever, increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate and symptomatic narrowing of an intervertebral space.
Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 09/1993; 137(32):1614-6.