Echocardiography. 2011 Nov;28(10):1119-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8175.2011.01493.x. Epub 2011 Aug 19.
Yoon SJ, Park JK, Oh S, Jeon DW, Yang JY, Hong SM, Kwak MS, Choi YS, Rim SJ, Youn HJ.
Division of Cardiology, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
BACKGROUNDS: Recent studies have shown that thermal therapy by means of warm waterbaths and sauna has beneficial effects in chronic heart failure. However, a comprehensive investigation of the hemodynamic effects of thermal vasodilation on coronary arteries has not been previously undertaken. In this study, we studied the effect of a warm footbath (WFB) on coronary arteries in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), as well as any adverse effect.
METHODS: We studied 21 patients (33.3% men, mean age 60.8 ± 13.5 years) with CAD. Coronary flow Doppler examination of the left anterior descending coronary artery and coronary flow reserve (CFR) were performed and measured using adenosine before and after a WFB.
RESULTS: Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate did not change with the WFB. Mean velocity of diastolic coronary flow significantly increased (diastolic mean flow velocity: 18.3 ± 7.1 cm/sec initial, 21.5 ± 8.0 cm/sec follow-up, P = 0.002) and CFR significantly improved (1.6 ± 0.4 vs. 2.2 ± 0.5, P < 0.001) after WFB. The WFB was well accepted and no relevant adverse effects were observed. The change of CFR after WFB correlated well with diastolic function (E', r = 0.51, P = 0.031; E/E', r =-0.675, P = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS: A Warm Footbath significantly improved coronary flow reserve (CFR) without any adverse effects in patients with mild-to-moderate coronary artery disease (CAD) and can be applied with little risk of a coronary artery event if appropriately performed.