Randomized 4-week exercise program in patients with impaired left ventricular function.
BACKGROUND This study was designed to determine the controlled effects of a short-term exercise rehabilitation program on patients with moderate-to-severe left ventricular dysfunction after a recent myocardial infarction.
METHODS AND RESULTS Thirty-nine male patients 51 +/- 8 years old with a large anterior myocardial infarction less than 10 weeks old were recruited for the study. The patients were randomly assigned to either one of two training or control groups on the basis of their resting ejection fraction: training, less than 30%; control, less than 30%; training, 31-50%; or control, 31-50%. Patients were evaluated for filling pressures, radionuclide ventriculography, heart volume, echocardiography, and work capacity. Patients who underwent training participated in an intensive 4-week in-hospital exercise program, whereas the control patients were restricted to a minimal activity program. Results indicated that there were no significant improvements in resting, submaximal, and maximal hemodynamic measurements as a result of the program. Mean work capacity and peak oxygen consumption improved significantly in the less-than-30% training group but was accompanied by a significant increase in mean pulmonary wedge pressure. Resting ejection fraction improved markedly in both less-than-30% training and control patients, but ejection fraction measures were not associated with work capacity. Training did not cause further deterioration in ventricular function.
CONCLUSIONS It was concluded that in the present study, exercise training had little or no effect on hemodynamic measurements and that the training effects achieved in patients with left ventricular dysfunction are most likely due to corrected impaired vasodilation, not necessarily to cardiac function. The importance of using a control group in this type of study and the wide interindividual variations in training responses are emphasized.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association