Effect of incremental RMT on heart failure

People with chronic heart failure (CHF) suffer from respiratory muscle weakness, which is associated with exertional fatigue and dyspnea. This limits their activities of daily living, and can have a significant impact on their quality of life. Incremental respiratory muscle training (RMT) offers hope to those suffering from CHF. RMT follows the same principles as skeletal muscle training and aims to increase endurance by increasing training intensity.

Research was conducted in order to assess the effectiveness of incremental RMT on exertional fatigue and dyspnea. IMT was tested to improve exercise capacity, dyspnea and quality of life (QOL) in CHF patients. Let’s take a closer look at the study below.

Key Findings

  • Respiratory muscle weakness contributes to fatigue and dyspnea in people with heart failure (HF).
  • Incremental respiratory muscle training (RMT) aims to increase endurance by increasing training intensity.
  • 10 weeks of incremental RMT improved respiratory muscle strength, exercise capacity, peak oxygen uptake, dyspnea, quality of life and reduced the heart rate in people with HF.

Patient Impact

Incremental RMT effectively improves respiratory function, exercise capacity, oxygen uptake and heart rate in people with HF.

Study Methods

Patients underwent 10 weeks of RMT using inspiratory muscle training against a fixed resistance. During each session, inspiratory efforts were separated by rest periods, which became shorter at each level. Patients trained to fatigue. Pulmonary function, exercise capacity, dyspnea and QOL were assessed before and after the study period and compared to a low intensity control group.

Study Results

Inspiratory muscle pressure (PImax), sustained maximal inspiratory pressure (SMIP), peak oxygen uptake, heart rate, dyspnea, exercise capacity (6MWT) and QOL improved significantly due to incremental RMT.

In conclusion, the training principle of incremental loading, i.e. decreasing the rest periods between muscle contractions, can be successfully applied to RMT. Doing so significantly improves respiratory function, exercise capacity, dyspnea and QOL in CHF patients.

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