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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Improving Exercise Tolerance



I am 41 and have a mitochondrial myopathy. I recently had an echo and stress echo since this disease can affect the heart. I have dyspnea,air hunger related to weak respiratory muscles and proximal muscle weakness. My stress test was good except the report stated poor exercise tolerance. I had much dyspnea with the test that was much worse when I laid down for the post echo after being on the treadmill.My sats ranged from 91-97% with the stress echo. What does poor exercise tolerance mean and is it probably because of the myopathy I have? What can be done about this? Thank you.


Exercise tolerance, as measured by a stress test, is based on the level of exercise you achieved and your age. Poor exercise tolerance just means that your level of exercise was less than  'normal ' subjects your age. This is most likely due to your myopathy.

Usually, the treatment for decreased exercise tolerance is to exercise and condition your body to improve your exercise capacity. In your case, however, I would suggest talking to your doctor to see if exercise conditioning would be of benefit.

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Response by:

Karen   Kutoloski, DO Karen Kutoloski, DO
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University