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Eur J Clin Invest. 2004 Sep;34(9):583-9.

Endothelial markers in chronic heart failure: training normalizes exercise-induced vWF release.

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University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.



Chronic heart failure (CHF) is characterized by endothelial dysfunction. Vascular endothelium is important for control of haemostasis and vasoregulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate plasma levels of several endothelial markers and the exercise-induced changes on these plasma levels in CHF patients. Subsequently, the effect of a 6-month training programme on these markers is described.


Twenty-nine male CHF patients (NYHA II/III, age 60 +/- 8 year, body mass index 26.7 +/- 2.3 kg m(-2), left ventricular ejection fraction 26.3-7.2%; mean +/- SD) participated. Patients were randomly assigned to a training or control group. Training (26 weeks; combined strength and endurance exercises) was four sessions/week: two sessions supervised and two sessions at home. Before and after intervention, anthropometry, endothelial markers (haemostasis and vasoregulation), maximal workload and peak oxygen uptake were assessed.


Physical training positively affected maximal workload. Plasma levels of endothelial markers were not affected by physical training and not related to exercise tolerance. After training, stimulated (maximal exercise) plasma von Willebrand Factor (vWF) release was present, whereas at baseline this release was absent.


Physical training led to normalization of the stimulated plasma vWF release. Plasma levels of other endothelial markers were not affected by physical training either at rest or under stimulated (maximal exercise) conditions.

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