The effect of exercise training on the pulmonary arterial system in patients with pulmonary hypertension

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Mar-Apr;57(5):480-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2014.03.008. Epub 2014 Mar 27.


Given the unique and clinically ominous pathology associated with pulmonary arterial (PA) hypertension (PH) and its implications for the eventual deterioration of right ventricular function, exercise training (ET) was historically not recommended. More recently, a body of literature demonstrating the safety and efficacy of ET in PH has emerged. The primary focus of this review is to provide a synopsis of current evidence assessing the effects of ET on the PA system in patients with PH. The current body of evidence is relatively small and it is not clear if ET improves PA function or vessel characteristics. Nevertheless, studies have consistently found ET leads to numerous clinically relevant benefits including increased: 1) aerobic capacity, 2) muscle strength, 3) exercise tolerance, and 4) quality of life. Thus, ET, given its clinical benefits, is likely to enjoy increased utilization in patients with PH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterial Pressure*
  • Exercise Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy*
  • Muscle Strength
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Circulation*
  • Quality of Life
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome