PAssive exercise alleviates decreased intestinal motility in patients in the ICU after cardiovascular surgery

The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of passive exercise of the lower limbs and trunk (PELT) in ICU patients after cardiovascular surgery with decreased bowel motility. Ten ICU patients with clinically-apparent decreased bowel motility during the period of April to July 2016 were enrolled this study. Bowel sounds (BS) for 5 minutes at rest and 5 minutes after PELT were recorded through an electronic stethoscope. A frequency analysis was performed and the BS before and after PELT were compared. In addition, the percent change in BS before and after PELT was determined, and the relationship between the percent change in BS and individual parameters (invasiveness of surgery, inflammation, nutrition, renal function) was examined.

Average BS (integral value) for 5 minutes before and after PELT were 63.1 ± 41.3 mVsec and 115.0 ± 57.8 mVsec, respectively; therefore, BS was significantly increased by PELT. When compared to patients at rest, a significant increase was found 0-4 minutes after PELT. None of the individual parameters was significantly correlated with the percent change. PELT can increase the bowel motility of ICU patients with decreased bowel motility.