Many noninfectious pulmonary complications occur immediately within the first few weeks after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of chest physical therapy (CPT) performed during the pre-transplant period on spirometric values and respiratory muscle strength (RMS) in patients waiting for allo-HSCT.

Material and methods:
Fifty patients aged 40 to 55 years who were scheduled for allo-HSCT were randomly allocated into two equal-sized groups, a CPT group and a control group. The CPT group (n = 25) received CPT in addition to routine medical treatment, while the control group (n = 25) received routine medical treatment only. Patients in both groups received standard physical therapy during the inpatient waiting period. Interventions were conducted daily for three weeks before allo-HSCT. Pulmonary function (FEV1, FVC, and FEV1/FVC) was measured by spirometry, and RMS was measured by a respiratory pressure meter. A baseline assessment was done three weeks before allo-HSCT (T0), then at the end of treatment immediately before allo-HSCT (T1) and the last assessment at three weeks after allo-HSCT (T2) for all measured variables.

In comparing the two groups at T1 and T2, the mean spirometric values and RMS; maximal inspiratory pressure, and maximal expiratory pressure were all improved significantly in the CPT group in comparison with the control group (p < 0.05).

Adding a 3-week CPT intervention to the pre-transplant rehabilitation program seems to be effective and safe for allo-HSCT recipients, as it improves pulmonary function and respiratory muscle strength pre-transplant and prevents their decrease post-transplant.