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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 6982897, 8 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Skeletal Muscle Function and Effects of Early Rehabilitation during Acute Heart Failure: Rationale and Study Design

1Faculty of Physiotherapy, University of Physical Education in Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
2Center for Heart Disease, 4th Military Hospital of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
3Department of Physiology, Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
4Department of Heart Diseases, Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland

Correspondence should be addressed to Kinga Węgrzynowska-Teodorczyk; moc.liamg@kyzcrodoetwagnik

Received 17 December 2017; Revised 7 February 2018; Accepted 11 February 2018; Published 12 March 2018

Academic Editor: Takeshi Kitai

Copyright © 2018 Kinga Węgrzynowska-Teodorczyk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Acute heart failure (AHF) is associated with disturbances of the peripheral perfusion leading to the dysfunction of many organs. Consequently, an episode of AHF constitutes a “multiple organ failure” which may also affect the skeletal muscles. However, the abnormalities within skeletal muscles during AHF have not been investigated so far. The aim of this project is to comprehensively evaluate skeletal muscles (at a functional and tissue level) during AHF. Methods. The study will include ≥63 consecutive AHF patients who will be randomized into 2 groups: ≥42 with cardiac rehabilitation group versus ≥21 with standard pharmacotherapy alone. The following tests will be conducted on the first and last day of hospitalization, at rest and after exercise, and 30 days following the discharge: clinical evaluation, medical interview, routine physical examination, echocardiography, and laboratory tests (including the assessment of NT-proBNP, inflammatory markers, and parameters reflecting the status of the kidneys and the liver); hemodynamic evaluation, noninvasive determination of cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance using the impedance cardiography; evaluation of biomarkers reflecting myocyte damage, immunochemical measurements of tissue-specific enzymatic isoforms; evaluation of skeletal muscle function, using surface electromyography (sEMG) (maximum tonus of the muscles will be determined along with the level of muscular fatigability); evaluation of muscle tissue perfusion, assessed on the basis of the oxygenation level, with noninvasive direct continuous recording of perfusion in peripheral tissues by local tissue oximetry, measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Results and Conclusions. Our findings will demonstrate that the muscle tissue is another area of the body which should be taken into consideration in the course of treatment of AHF, requiring a development of targeted therapeutic strategies, such as a properly conducted rehabilitation.