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JFSF Vol 8, No 2, June 2023, p.107-117

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-08-107


Review Article

The effectiveness of blood flow restriction training in cardiovascular disease patients: A scoping review

Pavlos Angelopoulos1, Maria Tsekoura1, Konstantinos Mylonas1, Grigorios Tsigkas2, Evdokia Billis1, Elias Tsepis1, Konstantinos Fousekis1

  1. Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Patras, Greece
  2. Department of Pathology, School of Health Sciences, University of Patras, Rio, Greece

Keywords: Blood flow restriction exercise, Cardiac rehabilitation, Cardiovascular patients


Therapeutic exercise is integral to the comprehensive rehabilitation of patients with cardiovascular disease and, as such, is recommended by the American Heart Association as a valuable and effective treatment method for such patients. The type of exercise applied to these patients is aerobic and resistance exercise with mild intensities and loads to avoid overloading the cardiovascular system. Blood flow restriction exercise is a novel exercise modality in clinical settings that has in many studies a similar effect on muscle hypertrophy, strength, and cardiovascular response to training at a 70% strength level without blood flow restriction. Since this exercise mode does not require high-intensity loads, it can be a safe method for improving muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, and functionality in cardiovascular patients. Given that, the objective of this review is to assess and summarize existing evidence for the use of blood flow restriction in cardiovascular patients. A scoping review of existing clinical trials was conducted. Eleven studies were examined that suggested the use of blood flow restrictions in cardiovascular patients to achieve improvements in muscle strength, functionality, and cardiovascular parameters such as blood pressure decrease.
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