Background:Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is an established multidisciplinary secondary preventive program. We investigated the effects of CR involving intensive physical activity (PA) on coronary plaque volume and components in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Methods and Results:We enrolled 32 consecutive patients with ACS in early phase II CR and randomly assigned them to an intensive CR group (n=18; CR participation ≥twice/week, daily PA ≥9,000 steps) or a standard CR group (n=14; CR participation ≥once/2weeks, daily PA ≥6,000 steps). Serial integrated backscatter intravascular ultrasound was performed for non-culprit lesions at baseline and after 8 months. Baseline clinical data were identical between the 2 groups. Unexpectedly, CR participation and PA did not differ significantly between the 2 groups, and there was no significant difference in plaque volume (PV) or components between the 2 groups. Subsequently, we classified the patients into 2 groups according to median PA (7,000 steps). There were significant differences in percent change of PV and of lipid volume between these 2 groups. In addition, these changes were negatively and independently correlated with PA.
Conclusions:No significant difference was observed in PV or components between the intensive CR and the standard CR groups. Intensive PA, however, may retard coronary PV and ameliorate lipid component in patients with ACS participating in late phase II CR.