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Heart Fail Rev. 2010 Nov;15(6):563-79. doi: 10.1007/s10741-010-9171-9.

Functional electrical stimulation of lower limbs in patients with chronic heart failure.

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G. Gennimatas' General Hospital of Athens, Mesogion 156, Athens, Greece.


Physical training is an important component of therapy for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and is considered complementary to their pharmacological treatment. The majority of conventional rehabilitation programs include aerobic training, which has been demonstrated to induce significant beneficial effects on the neurohumoral, immunoreactive and functional status of patients with moderate CHF. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) of skeletal muscles constitutes an alternative training mode with beneficial effects comparable to classical aerobic exercise, suitable for patients with CHF who cannot participate in traditional training programs due to either advanced grades of CHF or the presence of comorbidities. We present a review of the numerous studies evaluating the effects of FES in CHF, focusing on its main effects on skeletal myopathy reversal, exercise tolerance improvement and quality of life modification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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