Acute effect of passive cycloergometry on the cardiovascular system and respiratory mechanics of critically ill patients: a randomized controlled trial

Abstract Introduction: The rehabilitation of critical patients usually occurs in the bed and is classified as low cardiovascular intensity. Therefore, it is essential to understand the physiological effects of these resources that we apply in clinical practice. Objective: Evaluate the acute effect of passive cycloergometry of lower limbs on respiratory mechanics and cardiovascular parameters in critically ill patients. Method: This was a labeled, randomized, controlled trial conducted in two intensive care units in the city of Recife, between August 2016 and May 2017. Patients were divided into two groups: (i) passive cycloergometry group (n = 16), where the patient performed a lower limb cycloergometry session for 20 minutes, and (ii) control group (n = 14), where the patient did not perform any therapeutic intervention, except during the application of the protocol. Cardiovascular parameters and respiratory mechanics were evaluated before, during and after their applicability. Results: No demographic differences were found between the two groups, showing the homogeneity between them. Regarding cardiovascular parameters, there were no differences between groups before, during and after the protocol. Regarding respiratory mechanics, there was a slight elevation of the resistance of the respiratory system in the cycloergometry group and a reduction of the same in the control group. Conclusion: The results suggest that passive cycloergometry applied to the critical patient did not promote significant cardiovascular changes and respiratory mechanics, being considered a safe and effective technique in clinical practice that can be applied without causing harm to patients under mechanical ventilation.