Transplant Trial Watch

Long-term effects of high-intensity training vs. moderate intensity training in heart transplant recipients: A 3-year follow-up study of the randomized controlled HITTS study

Rolid, K., et al.

American Journal of Transplantation 2020 [record in progress]

The aim of this study was to report the three-year follow-up data of the High-Intensity Interval Training in De Novo Heart Transplant Recipients in Scandinavia (HITTS) study, which was an RCT comparing high-intensity interval training (HIT) with that of moderate intensity continuous training (MICT) for 9 months in de novo cardiac transplant patients.

Patients were randomly assigned to HIT or MICT.

81 de novo heart transplant recipients.

The primary outcome was the change in peak oxygen consumption VO2 peak (mL/kg/min). The secondary outcomes included heart rate response, body composition, muscle strength, heart function, daily physical activity, biomarkers and health-related quality of life.

3 years

CET Conclusions
This manuscript reports 3-year outcomes from the HITTS study, which compared high intensity interval training (HIT) with moderate intensity continuous training for 9 months following cardiac transplantation. Unlike the 12-month results, the longer-term follow-up shows no difference in VO2-peak between the groups, with no difference in activity levels or intensity between groups. However, improvements in anaerobic threshold and muscle endurance in the HIT group were sustained. These results perhaps reflect the difficulty in maintaining exercise patterns outside the supervision of a clinical trial. However, it is encouraging that both groups had activity levels higher than a healthy normal population, suggesting that any form of sustained exercise program early post-transplant can have lasting effects on activity and fitness.

Trial registration - NCT01796379

Funding source
Non-industry funded