Aims To investigate the effects of exercise training (ET) on left ventricular (LV) volumes, cardiopulmonary functional capacity and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels in postinfarction patients with moderate LV dysfunction.
Methods Sixty-one postinfarction patients were randomized into two groups: group T [n = 30, LV ejection fraction (EF) 41.6 ± 11.3%, mean ± SD] entered a 6-month ET programme, whereas group C (n = 31, EF 42.0 ± 7.6%, P=NS) did not. NT-proBNP assay, Doppler-echocardiography and cardiopulmonary exercise test were performed upon enrolment and at sixth months.
Results At sixth months, trained patients showed an improvement in workload (+26%, P<0.001), Vo2peak (+31%, P<0.001), LV end-diastolic volume index (LVEDVI; −9%, P<0.001), a reduction in NT-proBNP (−71%, P<0.001) and a significant correlation between changes in NT-proBNP and in LVEDVI (r=0.858, P<0.001). Baseline NT-proBNP correlated with changes in LVEDVI in both trained (r=0.673, P<0.001) and untrained (r=0.623, P<0.001) patients. Group C showed unfavourable LVEDVI dilation (+8%, P<0.001; T vs. C group, P<0.001) and a smaller reduction in NT-proBNP (−40%, P<0.001; T vs. C group, P<0.001).
Conclusions Six month ET induced a favourable LV remodelling and a marked fall in NT-proBNP that could predict LV remodelling in postinfarction patients with moderate LV dysfunction.