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Editorials |

Stimulating Advances in Chronic Heart Failure and COPD

Isabelle Vivodtzev, PhD; Yves Lacasse, MD, MSc
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Yves Lacasse, MD, MSc, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec, 2725, chemin Sainte-Foy, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 4G5; e-mail: yves.lacasse@med.ulaval.ca

Drs. Vivodtzev and Lacasse are both affiliated with the Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec.


The authors have reported to the ACCP that no significant conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2009 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2009;136(1):5-6. doi:10.1378/chest.09-0408
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In some patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and COPD, physical deconditioning may be so severe that exercise training cannot be initiated. This situation has encouraged the investigation of “local muscle training” by neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) of the lower limbs. In this issue of CHEST (see page 44), Sillen et al1 summarize the best available evidence from the English-language literature to demonstrate the potential of NMES training vs no training or sham stimulation to improve muscle function and quality of life in patients with CHF and COPD. We are aware of at least one other randomized trial2 published in a “foreign” language that suggested similar improvements in walking distance and muscle strength after training in both NMES and voluntary contractions among patients with COPD and respiratory failure. Sillen et al1 did not proceed with a metaanalysis of the available data, arguing that heterogeneity existed across trials. We would certainly agree with this decision that does not diminish the interest of this systematic review.

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