Electrical stimulation of skeletal muscles: An alternative to aerobic exercise training in patients with chronic heart failure?

Petr Dobšák, Marie Nováková, Bohumil Fišer, Jarmila Siegelová, Pavla Balcárková, Lenka Špinarová, Jiří Vítovec, Naoyoshi Minami, Makoto Nagasaka, Masahiro Kohzuki, Tomoyuki Yambe, Kou Imachi, Shin Ichi Nitta, Jean Christophe Eicher, Jean Eric Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate whether electrical stimulation of skeletal muscles could represent a rehabilitation alternative for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Thirty patients with CHF and NYHA class II-III were randomly assigned to a rehabilitation program using either electrical stimulation of skeletal muscles or bicycle training. Patients in the first group (n = 15) had 8 weeks of home-based low-frequency electrical stimulation (LFES) applied simultaneously to the quadriceps and calf muscles of both legs (1 h/day for 7 days/week); patients in the second group (n = 15) underwent 8 weeks of 40 minute aerobic exercise (3 times a week). After the 8-week period significant increases in several functional parameters were observed in both groups: maximal V̇O2 uptake (LFES group: from 17.5 ± 4.4 mL/kg/min to 18.3 ± 4.2 mL/kg/min, P <0.05; bicycle group: from 18.1 ± 3.9 mL/kg/min to 19.3 ± 4.1 mL/kg/min, P <0.01), maximal workload (LFES group: from 84.3 ± 15.2 W to 95.9 ± 9.8 W, P < 0.05; bicycle group: from 91.2 ± 13.4 W to 112.9 ± 10.8 W, P < 0.01), distance walked in 6 minutes (LFES group: from 398 ± 105 m to 435 ± 112 m, P < 0.05; bicycle group: from 425 ± 118 m to 483 ± 120 m, P < 0.03), and exercise duration (LFES group: from 488 ± 45 seconds to 568 ± 120 seconds, P < 0.05; bicycle group: from 510 ± 90 seconds to 611 ± 112 seconds, P < 0.03). These results demonstrate that an improvement of exercise capacities can be achieved either by classical exercise training or by home-based electrical stimulation. LFES should be considered as a valuable alternative to classical exercise training in patients with CHF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages13
JournalInternational heart journal
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul 6

Keywords

  • Electrical stimulation
  • Exercise
  • Functional capacity
  • Heart failure
  • Home-based training
  • Rehabilitation
  • Strenght muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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