Thermal therapy: a viable adjunct in the treatment of heart failure?

Congest Heart Fail. 2008 Jul-Aug;14(4):180-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7133.2008.07792.x.


The aim of this work was to review and provide a summary of published literature on the clinical impact of thermal therapy (ie, warm water immersion, traditional sauna bathing, and dry infrared sauna) in patients with heart failure. Medline and Embase database literature searches were conducted, and studies that included measurement of heart failure-related clinical parameters were reviewed. Thermal therapy was found to have a positive impact on key heart failure-related parameters across multiple studies. Significant improvements were noted across a wide scope of heart failure-related parameters in the areas of (1) endothelial function, (2) hemodynamics, (3) cardiac geometry, (4) neurohormonal markers, and (5) quality of life. Of special note, thermal therapy also conveyed a strong antiarrhythmic effect in heart failure patients. The clinical evidence highlights repeatable and compelling data showing that thermal therapy may provide an important and viable adjunct in the treatment of heart failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases as Topic
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / psychology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Hot Temperature / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology