Benefit of exercise conditioning for patients with peripheral arterial disease.
Patients with atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of the lower extremities have impaired walking ability due to exercise-induced muscle ischemia and the resultant pain of intermittent claudication. To evaluate the benefit of exercise training as a treatment for patients with PAD, as well as possible mechanisms associated with improvement, we randomly assigned 19 men with disabling claudication to treated and control groups. Treatment consisted of supervised treadmill walking (1 hr/day, 3 days/wk, for 12 weeks) with progressive increases in speed and grade as tolerated. Graded treadmill testing was performed to maximal toleration of claudication pain on entry and after 12 weeks of training to define changes in peak exercise performance. After 12 weeks, treated subjects had increased their peak walking time 123%, peak oxygen consumption 30%, and pain-free walking time 165% (all p less than 0.05). Control subjects had no change in peak oxygen consumption, but after 12 weeks, peak walking time increased 20% (p less than 0.05). In treated subjects, maximal calf blood flow (measured by a plethysmograph) increased 38 +/- 45% (p less than 0.05), but the change in flow was not correlated to the increase in peak walking time. Elevated plasma concentrations of acylcarnitines have been associated with the functional impairment of PAD and may reflect the metabolic state of ischemic skeletal muscle. In treated subjects, a 26% decrease in resting plasma short-chain acylcarnitine concentration was correlated with improvement in peak walking time (r = -0.78, p less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association