Regular physical exercise corrects endothelial dysfunction and improves exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure

  • Hambrecht R
  • Fiehn E
  • Weigl C
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of systemic exercise training on endothelium-mediated arteriolar vasodilation of the lower limb and its relation to exercise capacity in chronic heart failure (CHF). Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of CHF, contributing to increased peripheral vasoconstriction and impaired exercise capacity. Local handgrip exercise has previously been shown to enhance endothelium-dependent vasodilation in conduit and resistance vessels in CHF. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty patients were prospectively randomized to a training group (n=10, left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] 24+/-4%) or a control group (n=10, LVEF 23+/-3%). At baseline and after 6 months, peak flow velocity was measured in the left femoral artery using a Doppler wire; vessel diameter was determined by quantitative angiography. Peripheral blood flow was calculated from average peak velocity (APV) and arterial cross-sectional area. After exercise training, nitroglycerin-induced endothelium-independent vasodilation remained unaltered (271% versus 281%, P=NS). Peripheral blood flow improved significantly in response to 90 microg/min acetylcholine by 203% (from 152+/-79 to 461+/-104 mL/min, P

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  • Blood Flow Velocity Cardiomyopathy, Dilated/physio

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  • R Hambrecht

  • E Fiehn

  • C Weigl

  • S Gielen

  • C Hamann

  • R Kaiser

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