Effects of Catheterization on Artery Function and Health: When Should Patients Start Exercising Following Their Coronary Intervention?

Sports Medicine
Andrea TryfonosEllen A Dawson


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a leading cause of death worldwide, and percutaneous transluminal coronary angiography (PTCA) and/or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; angioplasty) are commonly used to diagnose and/or treat the obstructed coronaries. Exercise-based rehabilitation is recommended for all CAD patients; however, most guidelines do not specify when exercise training should commence following PTCA and/or PCI. Catheterization can result in arterial dysfunction and acute injury, and given the fact that exercise, particularly at higher intensities, is associated with elevated inflammatory and oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and a pro-thrombotic milieu, performing exercise post-PTCA/PCI may transiently elevate the risk of cardiac events. This review aims to summarize extant literature relating to the impacts of coronary interventions on arterial function, including the time-course of recovery and the potential deleterious and/or beneficial impacts of acute versus long-term exercise. The current literature suggests that arterial dysfunction induced by catheterization recovers 4-12 weeks following catheterization. This review proposes that a period of relative arterial vulnerability may exist and exercise ...Continue Reading


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