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Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Cardio-Renal Patients With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction

J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2023 Mar 10. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000781. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common in heart failure (HF). Chronic kidney disease often worsens the prognosis and impairs the management of patients with HF. Chronic kidney disease is frequently accompanied by sarcopenia, which limits the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation (CR). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of CR on cardiorespiratory fitness in HF patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) according to the CKD stage.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study including 567 consecutive patients with HFrEF, who underwent a 4-wk CR program, and who were evaluated by cardiorespiratory exercise test before and after the program. Patients were stratified according to their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We performed multivariate analysis looking for factors associated with an improvement of 10% in peak oxygen uptake (V˙o2peak).

RESULTS: Thirty-eight percent of patients had eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73m². With decreasing eGFR, we observed deterioration in V˙o2peak, first ventilatory threshold (VT1) and workload and an increase in brain natriuretic peptide levels at baseline. After CR, there was an improvement in V˙O2peak (15.3 vs 17.8 mL/kg/min, P < .001), VT1 (10.5 vs 12.4 mL/kg/min, P < .001), workload (77 vs 94 W, P < .001), and brain natriuretic peptide (688 vs 488 pg/mL, P < .001). These improvements were statistically significant for all stages of CKD. In a multivariate analysis predicting factors associated with V˙o2peak improvement, renal function did not interfere with results.

CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac rehabilitation is beneficial in patients with HFrEF with CKD regardless of CKD stage. The presence of CKD should not prevent the prescription of CR in patients with HFrEF.

PMID:36892848 | DOI:10.1097/HCR.0000000000000781

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