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Circulation Journal
Vol. 67 (2003) No. 3 p. 221-224



Clinical Investigation

Exercise training improves the endothelial function of arteries in skeletal muscle, but few studies have examined its clinical effect on human coronary endothelial function. Non-infarct-related coronary arteries in 41 patients with a recent myocardial infarction who underwent successful percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty were studied. Patients were divided into 2 groups: regular exercisers (n=24, 17 males, mean age: 58 years), and non-exercisers (n=17, 12 males, mean age: 58 years). Acetylcholine (ACh) was infused into the non-infarct-related coronary artery and its diameter was measured by quantitative angiography at baseline and at 6 months after angioplasty. ACh, given in doses of 1, 3, 10, 30 μg/min, increased the coronary artery diameter in a dose-dependent manner in both groups. The mean percent change in the diameter at the site of stenosis change (%DS) was less in the regular exercisers than in the non-exercisers (11%±12 vs 41%±36, p<0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that regular exercise was the only significant determinant of improvement in endothelial function (p=0.01). These findings suggest that regular exercise improves endothelial function in the coronary arteries following myocardial infarction. (Circ J 2003; 67: 221 - 224)


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