Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in laryngectomees with a heat and moisture exchanger is feasible; however, the protocol does not seem appropriate to reach this group's maximal exercise capacity. Lowering heat and moisture exchanger resistance does not increase exercise capacity in this sample.
Ten participants underwent two cardiopulmonary exercise tests using their daily life heat and moisture exchanger (0.3 hPa or 0.6 hPa) and one specifically developed for activity (0.15 hPa). Heat and moisture exchanger order was randomised and blinded.
After laryngectomy, the breathing resistance of heat and moisture exchangers may limit exercise capacity. Breathing gas analysis during cardiopulmonary exercise testing is not possible using regular masks. This study tested the feasibility of cardiopulmonary exercise testing with a heat and moisture exchanger in situ, using an in-house designed connector. Additionally, we explored the effect of different heat and moisture exchanger resistances on exercise capacity in this group.
All participants completed both tests. No (serious) adverse events occurred. Only four subjects reached a respiratory exchange ratio of more than 1.1 in at least one test. Maximum exercise levels using heat and moisture exchangers with different resistances did not differ.