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Rivista di Angiologia

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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Original articles  

International Angiology 2008 Ottobre;27(5):401-7

lingua: Inglese

Effectiveness and costs of a short-course supervised training program in claudicants: proposal for a shared protocol with aerobic working load

Andreozzi G. M. 1, Leone A. 2, Martini R. 1, Laudani R. 2, Salimistraro G. 1, Deinite G. 2

1 Angiology Care Unit, University Hospital of Padua, Padua, Italy
2 Vascular Rehabilitation Unit, Casa di Cura Carmide Rehabilitation Clinic, Catania, Italy


Aim. The purpose of this study was to assess the costs and effectiveness of a short-course physical training program, consisting of an aerobic protocol with clearly defined working loads in each single training session, in patients with intermittent claudication (IC).
Methods. Initial (ICD), absolute (ACD) claudication distance, and recovery time (RT) have been measured by maximal treadmill exercise in 74 claudicants. Ankle brachial index (ABI) has been measured too. Measurements have been repeated after 18 days of supervised physical training consisting of a daily walk reaching either a distance goal of 1-2 km or a time goal of at least 30 min. The working load of each single training session has been tailored at 60-70% of the ACD measured by a non-maximal treadmill exercise.
Results. ICD increased from 56.2 (± standard deviation/± standard error: 35.3/4.1) to 123.9 (66.5/7.7); ACD increased from 104.8 (49.8/5.8) to 195.1 (81.7/9.5) and RT reduced from 201.2 (98.3/11.4) to 85.8 (43.6/5.1), with P<0.0001 for all parameters. We analyzed separately patients with moderate (M-CL) and severe (S-CL) claudication, and found significant improvements in both groups. The Δs (post-training value minus pretraining value) were: ICD 89.6 (59.9/10.9) in M-CL and 50.2 (29.9/4.6) in S-CL; ACD 102.8 (66.8/11.6) in M-CL and 80.1 (41.5/6.4) in S-CL; RT -98.7 (86.9/15.1) in M-CL and -128.5 (88.1/13.7) in S-CL, with P<0.0001 for all parameters. The differences between M-CL and S-CL were significant only for ICD (P=0.0003) and ACD (P<0.05). ABI showed an increasing trend, which was statistically significant (P<0.001), but clinically irrelevant. The protocol cost was 4 179 € (average cost 46.30 € to walk one additional meter).
Conclusion. Supervised physical training is confirmed to be an effective tool for the treatment of IC, and the proposed short-course protocol gave the same improvements as the longer ones while reducing the costs. The proposed procedure for tailoring the working load of a single session identifies clearly the working load, near maximal pain but avoiding the risk of inflammatory activation.

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