QH: Exercise training for pulmonary hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- XX Yuan P, XY Sun, B Pudasaini, JM Liu, Hu
- Int J Cardiol
Most recently, a specialized and carefully monitored exercise training and rehabilitation program has been recommended as add-on to medical treatment in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (class I, level of evidence A). Three prospective randomized, controlled trials, 10 prospective uncontrolled trials, 2 retrospective studies and 2 case series in more than 470 patients with severe pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right heart failure reported beneficial effects of a specialized exercise training and rehabilitation program, i.e. significant improvement in symptoms, exercise capacity, cardiorespiratory function and quality of life, compared with untrained controls. All training studies reported an acceptable safety profile, and some uncontrolled studies showed excellent 1- and 2-year survival rates. However, most studies had a quite small sample size (ranging from 2 to 183 patients) and an uncontrolled design, and they were not designed to assess hemodynamic changes, time to clinical worsening and survival. Nevertheless, there is large evidence that exercise training programs should be performed by centers experienced in both PH patient care and rehabilitation. The best method and duration of the training, characteristics of supervision, and the mechanisms resulting in symptom improvement and increased functional capacity are unclear. In this review, we summarize data of molecular and clinical effects of exercise training in PH patients. Furthermore, we discuss safety data and the role of a self-care management of exercise training in these patients.