PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To highlight the importance of biological age in the context of prehabilitation and to present relevant research regarding prehabilitation prior to solid organ transplantation.
RECENT FINDINGS: Studies on the effect of prehabilitation have been performed in kidney-, lung-, liver-, and heart transplant patient populations. Prior to kidney transplantation, exercise interventions have been shown to improve cardiopulmonary- and physical fitness and result in a decreased length of hospital stay postoperatively. Among lung transplant candidates, various methods of prehabilitation have been studied including home-based, outpatient and in-patient programs, consisting of physical training, psychological support, education, and nutritional interventions. Overall, prehabilitation seems to improve or maintain quality of life and exercise capacity in this patient population. Patients undergoing liver transplantation seem to benefit from prehabilitation as well. Not only does it seem safe and feasible, but significant improvements in aerobic and functional capacity have also been found. Regarding heart transplant candidates, both inpatient and outpatient, supervised prehabilitation programs show promising results with improvements in exercise capacities and quality of life.
SUMMARY: Prehabilitation is an effective and safe intervention for improving functional outcomes of solid organ transplant patients. Future studies should evaluate whether prehabilitation translates into improved pre- and post-transplant clinical outcomes.