The effect of FES-rowing training on cardiac structure and function: pilot studies in people with spinal cord injury
Stock, Christopher G.
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Study design: Two studies were conducted: Study-1 was cross-sectional; and Study-2 a longitudinal repeated measures design. Objectives: To examine the influence of functional electrical stimulation (FES) rowing training on cardiac structure and function in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: A university sports science department and home-based FES-training. Methods: Fourteen participants with C4-T10 SCI (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale A or B) were recruited for the studies. Cardiac structure and function, and peak: oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak), power output (POpeak) and heart rate (HRpeak), were compared between two FES-untrained groups (male n=3, female n=3) and an FES-trained group (male n=3) in Study-1 and longitudinally assessed in an FES-naive group (male n=1, female n=4) in Study-2. Main outcome measures left ventricular—dimensions, volumes, mass, diastolic and systolic function, and V̇O2peak, POpeak and HRpeak. In Study-2, in addition to peak values, the V̇O2 sustainable over 30 min and the related PO and HR were also assessed. Results: Sedentary participants with chronic SCI had cardiac structure and function at the lower limits of non-SCI normal ranges. Individuals with chronic SCI who habitually FES-row have cardiac structure and function that more closely resemble non-SCI populations. A programme of FES-rowing training improved cardiac structure and function in previously FES-naive people. Conclusion: FES-rowing training appears to be an effective stimulus for positive cardiac remodelling in people with SCI. Further work, with greater participant numbers, should investigate the impact of FES-rowing training on cardiac health in SCI.
Gibbons, R.S., Stock, C.G., Andrews, B.J., Gall, A. and Shave, R.E. (2016) 'The effect of FES-rowing training on cardiac structure and function: pilot studies in people with spinal cord injury', Spinal Cord, 54(10), p.822. DOI: 10.1038/sc.2015.228.
Article published in Spinal Cord on 12 January 2016, available open access at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sc.2015.228.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
INSPIRE Foundation, UK
- Sport Research Groups 
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