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Protective potential of high-intensity interval training on cardiac structure and function after COVID-19: protocol and statistical analysis plan for an investigator-blinded randomised controlled trial

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INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 is associated with a marked systemic inflammatory response with concomitant cardiac injury and remodelling, but it is currently unknown whether the latter is reversible. Given that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a powerful stimulus to improve cardiorespiratory fitness while also eliciting marked anti-inflammatory effects, it may be an important countermeasure of reducing cardiopulmonary morbidity following COVID-19.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: 40 COVID-19 survivors who have been discharged from hospital will be included in this investigator-blinded randomised study with a 12-week HIIT intervention. Patients will be 1:1 block-randomised by sex to either a supervised HIIT exercise group or standard care (control group). The main hypothesis is that a 12-week HIIT scheme is a safe way to improve loss of cardiac mass and associated cardiorespiratory fitness, despite hypothesised limited HIIT-induced changes in conventional lung function indices per se. Ultimately, we hypothesise that the HIIT scheme will reduce post-COVID-19 symptoms and improve quality of life.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study is approved by the Scientific Ethical Committee at the Capital Region of Denmark (H-20033733, including amendments 75068 and 75799) and registered at (NCT04647734, pre-results). The findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, including cases of positive, negative and inconclusive results.Trial registration number NCT04549337.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere048281
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

    Research areas

  • COVID-19, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, High-Intensity Interval Training, Humans, Quality of Life, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, SARS-CoV-2, Treatment Outcome, sports medicine, cardiology

ID: 69225697