Babu AS, Arena R, Satyamurthy A, Padmakumar R, Myers J, Lavie CJ
Purpose: Cardiac rehabilitation is an important intervention for patients with heart failure. However, its clinical application in acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) remains underutilized with limited research available. An assessment of current research in this area will help guide future investigations. The aim of this review is to summarize the current research focusing on rehabilitation interventions following recovery from ADHF. Review Methods: A systematic search was carried out on all trials registered in the clinical trial registry database of the World Health Organization-International Clinical Trial Registry Platform (WHO-ICTRP). Studies focusing on ADHF and utilizing any exercise and rehabilitation-based intervention were included. Results: A majority of 11 trial protocols, including 3827 participants with low ejection fraction (<40%), were identified from the WHO-ICTRP database. Majority of the protocols (64%) focused on exercise-based interventions with approximately one-quarter (29%) focusing on neuromuscular electrical stimulation and one on noninvasive ventilation during exercise. Irrespective of the mode of exercise, all protocols employed low-moderate intensity training with outcomes focusing on physical function and quality of life. Conclusion: Studies on rehabilitative interventions for ADHF are still in their early stages. More research is needed using innovative methodologies and testing for feasibility and fidelity.