Inspiratory Muscle Training and Functional Electrical Stimulation for Treatment of Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: Rationale and Study Design of a Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial.

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) has become the most prevalent form of heart failure in developed countries. Regrettably, there is no evidence-based effective therapy for HFpEF. We seek to evaluate whether inspiratory muscle training, functional electrical stimulation, or a combination of both can improve exercise capacity as well as left ventricular diastolic function, biomarker profile, quality of life (QoL), and prognosis in patients with HFpEF. A total of 60 stable symptomatic patients with HFpEF (New York Heart Association class II-III/IV) will be randomized (1:1:1:1) to receive a 12-week program of inspiratory muscle training, functional electrical stimulation, a combination of both, or standard care alone. The primary endpoint of the study is change in peak exercise oxygen uptake; secondary endpoints are changes in QoL, echocardiogram parameters, and prognostic biomarkers. As of March 21, 2016, thirty patients have been enrolled. Searching for novel therapies that improve QoL and autonomy in the elderly with HFpEF has become a health care priority.

The team believe that this study will add important knowledge about the potential utility of 2 simple and feasible physical interventions for the treatment of advanced HFpEF.