Exercise training in patients with a left ventricular assist device (Ex‐VAD): rationale and design of a multicentre, prospective, assessor‐blinded, randomized, controlled trial
Bobenko, Anna ; Schoenrath, Felix ; Knierim, Jan H. ; Friede, Tim ; Verheyen, Nicolas ; Mehra, Mandeep R. ; Haykowsky, Mark ; Herrmann‐Lingen, Christoph et al.
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16660
Journal Article (Published version)
AIMS: Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy is a promising option for patients with advanced heart failure (HF), refractory to guideline-mandated medical treatment either as a bridge to heart transplantation or as lifelong therapy. Functional capacity improves after LVAD implantation but remains reduced in patients with long-term LVAD therapy. Exercise training (ET) improves functional capacity and quality of life (QoL) in HF and may provide incremental benefits in patients supported with LVAD therapy. METHODS: The primary objective of Ex-VAD is to investigate whether a 12-week supervised ET can improve peak oxygen uptake (peakVO2 ) measured by cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) on an ergometer. The study is powered to demonstrate a group difference of 3 mL/min/kg in peakVO2 at week 12, with a power of 0.9 and a standard deviation of 5 mL/min/kg. After baseline assessments to determine whether ET is safe, 66 patients at six trial sites with advanced HF and LVAD therapy will be randomized 2:1 to supervised ET or to the control arm of usual care alone. Patients randomized to ET will perform supervised aerobic endurance and resistance ET (three times/week) for 12 weeks. At baseline and during follow-up, anthropometry, CPET, echocardiography (at rest and exercise), and QoL evaluation will be performed. Blood samples will be collected to examine cardiac-specific relevant biomarkers. Overall physical activity, training sessions, and adherence will be monitored and documented throughout the study using accelerometers and patient diaries. CONCLUSIONS: The Ex-VAD trial will assess the effects of a supervised ET programme on peakVO2 and QoL in patients with LVAD. As LVAD therapy moves from crisis support to ambulatory functional enhancement, this trial will provide a rationale to improve functional capacity and, in perspective, cardiovascular outcomes in LVAD-supported patients with advanced HF.