Oscillatory whole-body vibration improves exercise capacity and physical performance in pulmonary arterial hypertension: A randomised clinical study

HeartGerhardt F, et al. | January 27, 2017

This study suggests that whole–body vibration (WBV) is an effective method for substantially improving exercise capacity, physical performance, and health–related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) who are on stable targeted therapy. Additionally, structured training programmes may incorporate this methodology and it may be feasible for continuous long–term physical exercise in these patients.



  • Researchers performed this study including 22 patients with PAH (mean PAP≥25 mm Hg and pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP) ≤15 mm Hg) who were in world health organization (WHO)-Functional Class II or III and on stable PAH therapy for ≥3 months.
  • They randomised participants to WBV (16 sessions of 1-hour duration within 4 weeks) and, control group also subsequently received WBV.
  • Follow-up measures included the 6-min walking distance (6MWD), cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), echocardiography, muscle-power, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL; SF-36 and LPH questionnaires).


  • Findings demonstrated that when compared to the control group, patients receiving WBV exhibited a significant improvement in the primary endpoint, the 6MWD (+35.4±10.9 vs -4.4±7.6 m), resulting in a net benefit of 39.7±7.8 m (p=0.004).
  • Researchers found that WBV was also associated with substantial improvements in CPET variables, muscle power, and HRQoL.
  • The combined analysis of all patients (n=22) suggested significant net improvements versus baseline in the 6MWD (+38.6 m), peakVO2 (+65.7 mL/min), anaerobic threshold (+40.9 mL VO2/min), muscle power (+4.4%), and HRQoL (SF-36 +9.7, LPH -11.5 points) (all p<0.05).
  • Data suggested good tolerability of WBV in all patients, and no procedure-related severe adverse events (SAEs) occurred.

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