Hemodynamic Response to Exercise Training in Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction Patients

Marine Kirsch, Marie-Christine Iliou, Damien Vitiello


Background: Supervised exercise training decreases total and cardiac mortality and increases quality of life of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) patients. However, response to training is variable from one patient to another and factors responsible for a positive response to training remain unclear. The aims of the study were to compare cardiac hemodynamic changes after an exercise training program in responders (R) versus non-responders (NR) HFrEF patients, and to compare different discriminators used to assess response to training.

Methods: Seventy-six HFrEF patients (86% males, 57 12 years) completed an exercise training program for 4 weeks. Patients underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) on a cycle ergometer before and after training. Cardiac hemodynamics were measured by impedance cardiography during CPET. The R and NR groups were classified using the median change in peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak).

Results: There were statistically significant differences in VO2peak (+35% vs. -1%, P < 0.0001) and in peaks of ventilation (+30% vs. +2%, P < 0.0001), cardiac output (COpeak) (+25% vs. +4%, P < 0.01), systolic blood pressure (+12% vs. +2%, P < 0.05), diastolic blood pressure (+9% vs. +4%, P < 0.05) and heart rate (+8% vs. +1%, P < 0.01) between R and NR after the training program. VO2peak was the best discriminator between R and NR (receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curve (AUC) = 0.83, P < 0.0001), followed by COpeak (ROC AUC = 0.77, P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: VO2peak is the best discriminator between HFrEF R and NR patients after the training program. Responders showed improvements in peak hemodynamic parameters. These results pave the way for other studies to determine how the individualization of exercise training programs and peak hemodynamic parameters potentially linked to a better positive response status.

Cardiol Res. 2024;15(1):18-28
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/cr1591


Heart failure; Cardiac rehabilitation; Exercise training; Hemodynamics; Individual response

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