Stretching Exercises Improve Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction Through Attenuation of Oxidative Stress in Chronic Heart Failure Patients With an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

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Endurance training improves oxidative stress and vascular endothelial dysfunction in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). However, patients with CHF and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) often avoid endurance training for fear of ICD shock. Recent studies have reported that stretching exercises enhance antioxidant activity and improve vascular responses. Therefore, we aimed to assess the effects of 4 weeks of stretching exercises on oxidative stress and vascular endothelial function in patients with CHF with an ICD or CRT-D.


Fifty sedentary patients with CHF (78% males; mean age = 70 ± 9 years; left ventricular ejection fraction = 26% ± 8%) with an ICD or CRT-D were randomly divided into a group that performed 4 weeks of stretching exercises (stretching group) and a group that continued a sedentary lifestyle (control group). We compared the reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) index and blood parameters, such as von Willebrand factor (vWF), malondialdehyde-modified low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (MDA-LDL), reactive oxygen species (ROS), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, pentraxin 3, and fibrinogen between the 2 groups before and after the 4-week study period.


In the stretching group, a significant increase in the RH-PAT index and significant decreases in vWF, MDA-LDL, ROS, and fibrinogen concentrations were observed after the study compared with before (all P < .05). No significant changes were observed in the control group.


Four weeks of stretching exercises improved vascular endothelial dysfunction through attenuation of oxidative stress in sedentary patients with CHF with an ICD or CRT-D.

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