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World J Cardiol. 2015 Feb 26;7(2):52-64. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v7.i2.52.

Cardiac remodeling and physical training post myocardial infarction.

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Michael A Garza, Emily A Wason, John Q Zhang, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Research, Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Nutrition, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, United States.


After myocardial infarction (MI), the heart undergoes extensive myocardial remodeling through the accumulation of fibrous tissue in both the infarcted and noninfarcted myocardium, which distorts tissue structure, increases tissue stiffness, and accounts for ventricular dysfunction. There is growing clinical consensus that exercise training may beneficially alter the course of post-MI myocardial remodeling and improve cardiac function. This review summarizes the present state of knowledge regarding the effect of post-MI exercise training on infarcted hearts. Due to the degree of difficulty to study a viable human heart at both protein and molecular levels, most of the detailed studies have been performed by using animal models. Although there are some negative reports indicating that post-MI exercise may further cause deterioration of the wounded hearts, a growing body of research from both human and animal experiments demonstrates that post-MI exercise may beneficially alter the course of wound healing and improve cardiac function. Furthermore, the improved function is likely due to exercise training-induced mitigation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, improved balance between matrix metalloproteinase-1 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1, favorable myosin heavy chain isoform switch, diminished oxidative stress, enhanced antioxidant capacity, improved mitochondrial calcium handling, and boosted myocardial angiogenesis. Additionally, meta-analyses revealed that exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation has proven to be effective, and remains one of the least expensive therapies for both the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and prevents re-infarction.


Angiotensin II; Exercise training; Fibrosis; Myocardial remodeling; Post-myocardial infarction

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