The effect of exercise training on biventricular myocardial strain in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves peak oxygen uptake and left ventricular diastology in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). However, its effects on myocardial strain in HFpEF remain unknown. We explored the effects of HIIT and moderate-intensity aerobic continuous training (MI-ACT) on left and right ventricular strain parameters in patients with HFpEF. Furthermore, we explored their relationship with peak oxygen uptake (VO[subscript 2peak]).
Methods and results
Fifteen patients with HFpEF (age = 70 ± 8.3 years) were randomized to either: (i) HIIT (4 × 4 min, 85–90% peak heart rate, interspersed with 3 min of active recovery; n = 9) or (ii) MI-ACT (30 min at 70% peak heart rate; n = 6). Patients were trained 3 days/week for 4 weeks and underwent VO[subscript 2peak] testing and 2D echocardiography at baseline and after completion of the 12 sessions of supervised exercise training. Left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) average global peak systolic longitudinal strain (GLS) and peak systolic longitudinal strain rate (GSR) were quantified. Paired t-tests were used to examine within-group differences and unpaired t-tests used for between-group differences (α = 0.05). Right ventricular average global peak systolic longitudinal strain improved significantly in the HIIT group after training (pre = −18.4 ± 3.2%, post = −21.4 ± 1.7%; P = 0.02) while RV-GSR, LV-GLS, and LV-GSR did not (P > 0.2). No significant improvements were observed following MI-ACT. No significant between-group differences were observed for any strain measure. ΔLV-GLS and ΔRV-GLS were modestly correlated with ΔVO[subscript 2peak] (r = −0.48 and r = −0.45; P = 0.1, respectively).
In patients with HFpEF, 4 weeks of HIIT significantly improved RV-GLS.