Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
Clinical Investigation
Effects of Repeated Sauna Treatment on Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure
Takashi KiharaSadatoshi BiroYoshiyuki IkedaTsuyoshi FukudomeTakuro ShinsatoAkinori MasudaMasaaki MiyataShuichi HamasakiYutaka OtsujiShinichi MinagoeSuminori AkibaChuwa Tei
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2004 Volume 68 Issue 12 Pages 1146-1151


Background The aim of the present study was to determine whether repeated 60C sauna treatment improves cardiac arrhythmias in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients, because ventricular arrhythmias are an important therapeutic target in CHF. Methods and Results Thirty patients (59±3 years) with New York Heart Association functional class II or III CHF and at least 200 premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)/24 h assessed by 24-h Holter recordings were studied. They were randomized into sauna-treated (n=20) or non-treated (n=10) groups. The sauna-treated group underwent a 2-week program of a daily 60°C far infrared-ray dry sauna for 15 min, followed by 30 min bed rest with blankets, for 5 days per week. Patients in the non-treated group had bed rest in a temperature-controlled room (24°C) for 45 min. The total numbers of PVCs/24 h in the sauna-treated group decreased compared with the non-treated group [848±415 vs 3,097±1,033/24 h, p<0.01]. Heart rate variability (SDNN, standard deviation of normal-to-normal beat interval) increased [142±10 (n=16) vs 112±11 ms (n=8), p<0.05] and plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations decreased [229±54 vs 419±110 pg/ml, p<0.05] in the sauna-treated group compared with the non-treated group. Conclusion Repeated sauna treatment improves ventricular arrhythmias in patients with CHF. (Circ J 2004; 68: 1146 - 1151)

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