Exercise training in patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction. Hemodynamic and metabolic effects.
We studied the effects of exercise training in patients with chronic heart failure attributed to left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction, 24 +/- 10%). Twelve ambulatory patients with stable symptoms underwent 4-6 months of conditioning by exercising 4.1 +/- 0.6 hr/wk at a heart rate corresponding to 75% of peak oxygen consumption. Before and after training, patients underwent maximal bicycle exercise testing with direct measurement of central hemodynamic, leg blood flow, and metabolic responses. Exercise training resulted in a decrease in heart rate at rest and submaximal exercise and a 23% increase in peak oxygen consumption from 16.8 +/- 3.8 to 20.6 +/- 4.7 ml/kg/min (p less than 0.01). Heart rate, arterial lactate, and respiratory exchange ratio were unchanged at peak exercise after training. Maximal cardiac output tended to increase from 8.9 +/- 2.7 to 9.9 +/- 3.2 1/min and contributed to improved peak oxygen consumption in some patients, although this change did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.13). Rest and exercise measurements of left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular end-diastolic volume, and left ventricular end-systolic volume were unchanged. Right atrial, pulmonary arterial, pulmonary capillary wedge, and systemic arterial pressures were not different after training. Training induced several important peripheral adaptations that contributed to improved exercise performance. At peak exercise, systemic arteriovenous oxygen difference increased from 13.1 +/- 1.4 to 14.6 +/- 2.3 ml/dl (p less than 0.05). This increase was associated with an increase in peak-exercise leg blood flow from 2.5 +/- 0.7 to 3.0 +/- 0.8 l/min (p less than 0.01) and an increase in leg arteriovenous oxygen difference from 14.5 +/- 1.3 to 16.1 +/- 1.9 ml/dl (p = 0.07). Arterial and femoral venous lactate levels were markedly reduced during submaximal exercise after training, even though cardiac output and leg blood flow were unchanged at these workloads. Thus, ambulatory patients with chronic heart failure can achieve a significant training effect from long-term exercise. Peripheral adaptations, including an increase in peak blood flow to the exercising leg, played an important role in improving exercise tolerance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association