Haemostatic and inflammatory responses to blood flow-restricted exercise in patients with ischaemic heart disease: a pilot study

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Abstract

Summary

Low-intensity resistance exercise can effectively induce muscle hypertrophy and increases in strength when combined with moderate blood flow restriction (BFR). As this type of exercise does not require lifting heavy weights, it might be a feasible method of cardiac rehabilitation, in which resistance exercise has been recommended to be included. Although previous studies with healthy subjects showed relative safety of BFR exercise, we cannot exclude the possibility of unfavourable effects in patients with cardiovascular disease. We therefore aimed to investigate haemostatic and inflammatory responses to BFR exercise in patients with ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Nine stable patients with IHD who were not taking anticoagulant drugs performed four sets of knee extension exercise at an intensity of 20% one-repetition maximum (1RM) either with or without BFR. Blood samples were taken before, immediately after and 1 h after the exercise session and analysed for noradrenaline, D-dimer, fibrinogen/fibrin degradation products (FDP) and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP). Plasma noradrenaline concentration increased after the exercise, and the increase was significantly larger after the exercise with BFR than without BFR. On the other hand, increases in concentrations of plasma D-dimer and serum hsCRP were independent of the condition. However, increases in D-dimer and hsCRP were no longer observed after plasma volume correction, suggesting that hemoconcentration was responsible for these increases. Plasma FDP concentration did not change after the exercise. These results suggest that applying BFR during low-intensity resistance exercise does not affect exercise-induced haemostatic and inflammatory responses in stable IHD patients.

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