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The SMARTEX - HF Study

The Study of MyocArdial Recovery afTer EXercise training in Heart Failure - project endorsed by the EACPR Exercise, Basic and Translational Research Section

SMARTEX-HF study logoThe SMARTEX-HF study completed inclusion in July 2013 and follow-up assessments after the 12-week intervention period has been performed for all of the 209 patients on protocol.

The study is a randomised multicentre clinical trial designed to test the hypothesis that a 12-week program of aerobic interval training yields larger beneficial effects in stable heart failure patients than current recommended practice, moderate continuous training.


The main evaluation criterion is left ventricular dimensions and function measured by echocardiography. In addition aerobic capacity measured as peak oxygen uptake, quality of life, serious adverse events, and the level of physical activity by questionnaires and accelerometers have been measured.

The study was endorsed by the EACPR Exercise, Basic and Translational Research Section and five EACPR nucleus members are part of the study steering committee: Professors Øyvind Ellingsen (Chair); Axel Linke; Eva Prescott; Martin Halle and Viviane Conraads.

The study is coordinated by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway and 9 study centres have contributed to the data collection.

The centres are universities and university hospitals in:

  • Antwerp
  • Copenhagen
  • Leipzig
  • Luxembourg
  • Munich
  • Stavanger
  • Trondheim
  • Veruno
  • Ålesund

Analysis of the data from the 12 week intervention and 1 year follow-up will start in November 2013.

The steering committee hopes to present early results regarding the impact of high intensity interval training on heart function and health outcomes in heart failure patients next year.

For more details on the study design:

A Controlled Study of Myocardial Recovery after Interval Training in Heart Failure: SMARTEX-HF - Rationale and Design by Støylen et al., European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2012, doi: 10.1177/1741826711403252