Exercise testing and training of patients with heart failure due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction

J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 1997 Jan-Feb;17(1):19-28. doi: 10.1097/00008483-199701000-00003.


Reducing the exercise intolerance and symptoms experienced by patients with chronic heart failure remains an important focus in their clinical care. A clear shortcoming exists; however, with respect to an appreciation that in addition to standard medical therapy, selected patients with stable heart failure also can benefit from a moderate exercise training program. Improvements in central transport, regional blood flow, and skeletal muscle histology and biochemistry all likely account for the increase in exercise capacity and delay in fatigue that these patients experience. Additionally, the autonomic imbalance that is characteristic of these patients is improved. Although the number of patients with heart failure participating in an exercise program is increasing, much work still exists relative to incorporating this treatment method into the care plans established by physicians and physician extenders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Test*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Heart Failure / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / complications*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology