The potential of cardiac rehabilitation as a method of suppressing abdominal aortic aneurysm expansion: a pilot study

  • Atsuko NakayamaEmail author
  • Eisuke Amiya
  • Hiroyuki Morita
  • Kanako Hyodo
  • Naoko Takayama
  • Yuto Konishi
  • Masanobu Taya
  • Takayuki Fujiwara
  • Yumiko Hosoya
  • Katsuyuki Hoshina
  • Issei Komuro
Original Article


This study is a prospective evaluation of the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) in terms of clinical outcomes for small abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) that were previously reported in a retrospective cohort study. We conducted a prospective non-randomized trial on patients with small AAA (N = 40; mean age 75.0 ± 6.6 years). Patients were enrolled into one of two groups, rehabilitation (CR) or non-rehabilitation (non-CR) group. Only CR group participated in a supervised-CR program including bicycle ergometer for 150 days. The AAA expansion rate and the risk of AAA repair were compared between two groups. We also researched the relationship between AAA expansion rate and body composition, blood IL-6 and TGFβ1 levels. The CR (N = 15) and non-CR groups (N = 25) were comparable in terms their baseline data. The CR group had a significantly smaller change in the maximal AAA size (− 1.3 ± 2.4 mm/years) compared to the non-CR group (2.0 ± 3.6 mm/years) (p < 0.01). The IL-6, and TGFβ1 levels were unrelated to the changes in AAA size. There was mild positive correlation between the change in systolic blood pressure from rest to exercise and the AAA expansion rate (p = 0.06). The risk of AAA repair after 12 months was lower in the CR group compared to the non-CR group (0% vs. 28%, respectively). CR in patients with small AAA significantly suppressed AAA expansion and resulted in a lowered risk of AAA repair.

Clinical trial Trial name: The study of the profitability and protective effect of cardiac rehabilitation on abdominal aortic aneurysm. Number: UMIN000028237. UTL:


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) Rehabilitation Prevention Exercise 



This study was supported by a Grants-in-aid for Scientific Research from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan. AN and EA contributed to the conception or design of the work. AN contributed to the acquisition. KH, NT, YK, MT, and TF contributed to interpretation. YH, KH, and IK contributed to analysis of data for the work. AN drafted the manuscript. EA and HM critically revised the manuscript. All gave final approval and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of work ensuring integrity and accuracy. No funding was provided specifically for conducting the analysis, drafting the manuscript, or submitting this paper for publication.


This study was supported by a Grants-in-aid for Scientific Research from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan (Grant no. 15K16351).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no financial disclosures.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atsuko Nakayama
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eisuke Amiya
    • 1
  • Hiroyuki Morita
    • 1
  • Kanako Hyodo
    • 1
  • Naoko Takayama
    • 1
  • Yuto Konishi
    • 1
  • Masanobu Taya
    • 1
  • Takayuki Fujiwara
  • Yumiko Hosoya
    • 1
  • Katsuyuki Hoshina
    • 2
  • Issei Komuro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of MedicineThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Division of Vascular Surgery, Graduate School of MedicineThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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