Effect of Footbath Therapy in Patients with Refractory Chronic Heart Failure
Background: Waon therapy has been shown to improve symptoms, cardiac function and prognosis in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). We aim to investigate the utility of a convenient thermal therapy involving a footbath in patients with refractory CHF. Method: We enrolled ten patients who satisfied the following criteria: New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III or IV, LVEF <40%, and refractory to the conventional therapy. All patients underwent the footbath therapy daily for 2 weeks. Results: Blood pressure and heart rate did not differ during the footbath therapy. Footbath therapy significantly improved the NHYA functional class (p=0.02), plasma BNP level (1319.3 ± 812.4 vs 615.6 ± 490.4 pg/ml, p=0.04), and %FMD (3.1 ± 2.7 vs. 6.6 ± 4.1 pg/ml, p=0.04). In contrast, there was no significant change in LVEF (19.6 ± 10.9 vs. 22.3 ± 9.0 %, p=0.09). Conclusion: Footbath therapy could improve the status of CHF by improving the endothelial function. We think footbath therapy is a novel and convenient non-pharmacological treatment for patients with refractory CHF.