Twelve children with cystic fibrosis were admitted to a paediatric rehabilitation hospital for 17 days to take part in a training programme of vigorous physical exercise and sport. The daily inhalation-physiotherapy routine was stopped. Ventilatory status was assessed by spirometry and measurement of lung volumes one day before admission, one day after the end of the hospital stay, and 8 weeks later. Flow measurements of forced expiration had improved appreciably by the end of the course, but most of them returned to pretraining levels 8 weeks later. Lung volumes did not change significantly. Daily recordings of peak flow indicated improvement of airways function plus some ventilatory muscle training. Regular physical exercise could replace the inhalation-physiotherapy routine in some children with cystic fibrosis.
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