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Revista Costarricense de Cardiología

versión impresa ISSN 1409-4142


TREJOS-MONTOYA, José  y  ARAYA-RAMIREZ, Felipe. Cardiovascular adaptations of high intensity interval training in patients with heart failure: A systematic review. Rev. costarric. cardiol [online]. 2019, vol.21, n.1, pp.28-36. ISSN 1409-4142.

Cardiovascular adaptations of high intensity interval training in patients with heart failure: A systematic review High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise training modality that has been demonstrated superior cardiovascular adaptations than moderate intensity continuous training (MICT) in patients with heart failure (HF). However, if these cardiovascular adaptations are similar in HF patients with reduced ejection fraction (EF) is less defined.


To review the scientific evidence of the effectiveness of HIIT versus MICT on cardiovascular adaptations in HF patients with reduced EF.


A systematic review of literature using electronic data resources: PubMed, Academic Search Complete, SportDiscus and ScienceDirect until july 2008. The key terms used were: (‘‘Heart Failure’’) AND (‘‘high intensity Interval training’’ OR ‘‘continuous training’’) AND (“ejection fraction” OR “VO2peak” OR “functional capacity” OR “ventricular remodeling”) NOT (“animals”). The year of publication of the included studies was between 2007 and 2018.


Two-hundred and forty-three studies were searched and 22 articles were included with a total of 658 to perform this systematic literature review. HIIT was better than MICT on improvements in VO2max when the period of Interval training at low intensity was continuous at 40% to 60% of heart rate reserve (HRR). Also, when the training sessions of HIIT and MICT have the same energy expenditure, the effects are equalized. Improvements in the EF of the left ventricle was found between 2.6% y 35.7% in some cases, but not statistically significant. HIIT generates a decrease in LV remodeling, reporting a reduction of the left ventricular diastolic dimension (LVEDD) between 7.4% and 11.5% and of the left ventricular systolic dimension (LVESD) by 14.5%.


HIIT is more effective than the MICT in improving the VO2max of patients with HF with decreased EF. With regard to ventricular remodeling and LVEF, HIIT training is not conclusive according to this systematic review, since there is much variability in the results.

Palabras clave : heart failure; HIIT; VO2max; ejection fraction.

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