Background: High-intensity interval training has been shown to be superior to moderate continuous exercise training in improving exercise capacity and endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease. The objective of this study was to evaluate this training model on in-stent restenosis following percutaneous coronary intervention for stable or unstable angina.
Methods and results: We prospectively randomized 40 patients after percutaneous coronary intervention with implantation of a bare metal stent (n = 30) or drug eluting stent (n = 32) to a 6-month supervised high-intensity interval exercise training program (n = 20) or to a control group (n = 20). At six months, restenosis, measured as in-segment late luminal loss of the stented coronary area, was smaller in the training group 0.10 (0.52) mm compared to the control group 0.39 (0.38) mm (P = .01). Reduction of late luminal loss in the training group was consistent with both stent types. Peak oxygen uptake increased in the training and control group by 16.8% and 7.8%, respectively (P < .01). Flow-mediated dilation improved 5.2% (7.6) in the training group and decreased -0.1% (8.1) in the control group (P = .01). Levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein decreased by -0.4 (1.1) mg/L in the training group and increased by 0.1 (1.2) mg/L in the control group (P = .03 for trend).
Conclusions: Regular high-intensity interval exercise training was associated with a significant reduction in late luminal loss in the stented coronary segment. This effect was associated with increased aerobic capacity, improved endothelium function, and attenuated inflammation.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00469950.