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How to prescribe aerobic interval exercise in patients with coronary artery disease: The SAINTEX-CAD Study

A practical guide for the implementation of interval training in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) by N. Pattyn, V. Cornelissen, D. Hansen, P. Beckers and E. Van Craenenbroeck

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the main cause of death in Europe [1] and worldwide.[2] Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation is an effective intervention in the management of CAD, as it increases maximal exercise capacity (peak VO2) and prevents progression of CAD. As such it is a successful therapy with effects on cardiac morbidity and mortality.[3] Its effectiveness depends on the intensity, duration, frequency and type of exercise. The most common endurance training programs used in cardiac rehabilitation are continuous training (CT); a longer duration at a constant intensity; 40-80% of peak VO2) or interval training (IT); alternating high intensity bouts with periods of active or passive recovery; 80-120% of peak VO2) or a mixture. Results from the SAINTEX-CAD study (Study on Aerobic INTerval EXercise in patients with CAD) in 200 CAD patients showed that IT is more time-efficient compared to CT,[4] but that they are equally effective to improve peak VO2 (average increases by 20%).[5] The aim of this article is to provide practical guidelines for the implementation of IT in patients with CAD, based on our hands-on experience in the SAINTEX-CAD study.[5,6]





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