Cardiac rehabilitation after spontaneous coronary artery dissection

Taryn C. Silber, Marysia S. Tweet, Melissa J. Bowman, Sharonne N. Hayes, Ray W. Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Although cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves outcomes in patients after atherosclerotic myocardial infarctions, little is known of the CR benefit among patients with spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), who are primarily young, otherwise healthy women. The purpose of this study was to describe SCAD patient outcomes in phase 2 outpatient CR. METHODS: Patients with SCAD who enrolled in CR were retrospectively identified. Patients participated in standard CR, which included supervised and independent flexibility, stretching, aerobic, and strength training exercises. Patients received counseling regarding nutrition, weight and stress management. Assessments at baseline and program completion included cardiopulmonary exercise testing or 6-Minute Walk Test, body composition using plethysmography, depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and stress (a scale of 1-10) scores. RESULTS: Nine patients, all women, enrolled in CR an average of 12.3 days (range, 7-21 days) after their SCAD event, with one enrolling again after a recurrence. Cardiac rehabilitation was well received, with participants completing an average of 28 CR sessions (range, 5-39 sessions). Patients did not report cardiac symptoms and there were no adverse events during exercise testing or training. Peak oxygen uptake increased by an average of 18% (n = 4) and 6-minute walk distance increased 22% (n = 4). Average body mass decreased 1.1 kg, fat mass decreased 1.6 kg, and lean mass increased 0.4 kg. Depression and stress scores improved by an average of 2.3 and 1.3 points, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Standard CR beginning 1 to 2 weeks after SCAD seems to be feasible and safe and results in improved aerobic capacity, body composition, and measures of depression and stress. Because of these benefits, we recommend that patients with SCAD participate in CR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-333
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015


  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • myocardial infarction
  • spontaneous coronary artery dissection
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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