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Exercise-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation with and Without Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and its Effect on Exercise Tolerance and Life Quality of Persons with Chronic Heart Failure.
Journal of Human Kinetics  (IF2.193),  Pub Date : 2019-01-29, DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0045
Cezary Kucio,Petr Stastny,Bożena Leszczyńska-Bolewska,Małgorzata Engelmann,Ewa Kucio,Petr Uhlir,Magdalena Stania,Anna Polak

The study compares the effect of an exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program with a program combining physical exercise and lower extremity neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on the recovery of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) with NYHA II-III symptoms. Seventy two patients with stable CHF were randomly distributed to four groups that received exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation and pharmacological treatment. Groups I and II were additionally administered NMES (35 Hz and 10 Hz, respectively) and in Group III sham NMES was applied. Group IV (controls) received solely pharmacological and exercise treatment. Exercise tolerance and quality of life were assessed in patients pre-treatment and at week 3. Three weeks of rehabilitation induced significant increases (p < 0.05) in the distance covered in the 6-minute walk test, the metabolic equivalent (MET), the duration of the treadmill exercise stress test, the left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) and improved quality of life in all groups, but between-group differences were not significant (p > 0.05). In none of the groups were the left ventricle end-systolic and end-diastolic diameters (mm) measured at week 3 significantly different from their baseline values (p > 0.05). Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation contributed to higher exercise tolerance, LVEF and quality of life of CHF patients (NYHA II-III), contrary to cardiac rehabilitation combined with lower extremity NMES (35 Hz and 10 Hz) that failed to induce such improvements. More research is necessary to assess the therapeutic efficacy of NMES applied to CHF patients with NYHA IV symptoms.