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Effects of neuromuscular electrostimulation in patients with heart failure admitted to ward

Carlos José Soares de Araújo1, Fernanda Souza Gonçalves1, Hugo Souza Bittencourt1, Noélia Gonçalves dos Santos1, Sérgio Vitor Mecca Junior1, Júlio Leal Bandeira Neves1, André Maurício Souza Fernandes1, Roque Aras Junior12, FranciscoJoséFariasBorges dos Reis1, Armênio Costa Guimarães1, ErenaldodeSouzaRodrigues Junior124* and Vitor Oliveira Carvalho34

  • * Corresponding author: ErenaldodeSouzaRodrigues Junior

Author Affiliations

1 Hospital Ana Neri, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Avenida Saldanha Marinho s/n, Salvador Bahia, CEP:40320-010, Brazil

2 Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBa), Salvador-BA, Brazil

3 Unidade de Cirurgia Cardíaca Pediátrica do Instituto do Coração do Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da USP, São Paulo, Brazil

4 The GREAT Group (GRupo de Estudos em Atividade física), São Paulo, Brazil

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Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2012, 7:124  doi:10.1186/1749-8090-7-124

Published: 15 November 2012



Neuromuscular electrostimulation has become a promising issue in cardiovascular rehabilitation. However there are few articles published in the literature regarding neuromuscular electrostimulation in patients with heart failure during hospital stay.


This is a randomized controlled pilot trial that aimed to investigate the effect of neuromuscular electrostimulation in the walked distance by the six-minute walking test in 30 patients admitted to ward for heart failure treatment in a tertiary cardiology hospital. Patients in the intervention group performed a conventional rehabilitation and neuromuscular electrostimulation. Patients underwent 60 minutes of electrostimulation (wave frequency was 20 Hz, pulse duration of 20 us) two times a day for consecutive days until hospital discharge.


The walked distance in the six-minute walking test improved 75% in the electrostimulation group (from 379.7 ± 43.5 to 372.9 ± 46.9 meters to controls and from 372.9 ± 62.4 to 500 ± 68 meters to electrostimulation, p<0.001). On the other hand, the walked distance in the control group did not change.


The neuromuscular electrostimulation group showed greater improvement in the walked distance in the six-minute walking test in patients admitted to ward for compensation of heart failure.

Heart failure; Exercise; Physiotherapy; Rehabilitation; Neuromuscular electrostimulation