Case Report

Exercise capacity in pulmonary Tuberculosis

M. Hall, S. de Charmoy
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 58, No 2 | a236 | DOI: | © 2002 M. Hall, S. de Charmoy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2002 | Published: 16 February 2002

About the author(s)

M. Hall, MSc (Physiotherapy) student at Wits, South Africa
S. de Charmoy, Physiotherapy Department, Ibn Al-Nafees Hospital, Manama, Bahrain

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Aims: To determine the exercise capacity of patients
suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis infection and then compare this
value to the normal. To determine if the regression equation for TB is
comparable to that of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD). To provide guidelines for clinical practice of physiotherapy
should exercise capacity be found to be reduced. Methods: Thirteen black, male subjects between the ages of 19 and 35 years were included in the study. Each subject completed the shuttle walking test in order to determine his VO2peak. This was then compared to historical data for VO2peak. A subgroup of five subjects took part in a treadmill test to calculate a regression equation for VO2peak for TB patients. Results: Exercise capacity, measured as VO2peak, is reduced by an average of 57% when compared to the normal.The mean (SD) VO2peak for this group of thirteen patients is 19.09 (8.19)ml/kg/min. The shuttle walking test is a valid
and reliable test to determine the VO2peak of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Although a trend is evident the regression equation for pulmonary TB is based on a small sample size. Conclusion: Although the exercise capacity of patients with PTB is markedly reduced it does not seem to impact  on their function. Based on the above results, a preliminary recommendation is that a pulmonary rehabilitation program is not necessary for patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Although not originally an aim of the study it isalso evident that the role of the physiotherapist with respect to pulmonary tuberculosis may be one of education.


pulmonary tuberculosis; exercise capacity; shuttle walking test; vo2peak; borg dyspnoea scale


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Crossref Citations

1. Pulmonary impairment after tuberculosis in a South African population
Gibwa Cole, Duncan Miller, Tasneem Ebrahim, Tannith Dreyden, Rory Simpson, Shamila Manie
South African Journal of Physiotherapy  vol: 72  issue: 1  year: 2016  
doi: 10.4102/sajp.v72i1.307