Contraindications to physical training in patients with impaired ventricular function

J. J. Kellermann, J. Shemesh, E. Ben-Ari

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Exercise performance in patients with impaired ventricular function does not correlate well with the severity of dysfunction. Patients with ventricular dysfunction can achieve a fairly high work capacity, and the physiological variables respond in a similar way, regardless of whether or not the patients do or do not have impaired function. Furthermore, patients with pump dysfunction can benefit from a supervised physical training programme by improving their functional capacity and thus, their quality of life. The absolute contraindications for exercise therapy in this group of patients with coronary artery disease should therefore be identical to those who have normal ventricular function. In our opinion, special attention should be exercised in patients who have chronotropic incompetence, lack of an elevation or decrease in blood pressure during exercise performance and in those whose stroke volume is not elevated during even low to moderate work-loads. Recommendations as to the implication of exercise therapy as a therapeutic modality in patients with ventricular impairment must be accepted with caution. The reasons for this is that our observations are based on historical, anecdotal trials, most of which included only a modest number of patients. Future research and a prolonged follow-up is needed in order to obtain both a more exact analysis and eventually scientifically based evidence on the benefits and hazards involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue numberSUPPL. F
StatePublished - 1988


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