Yeungnam Univ J Med.  2021 Oct;38(4):361-365. 10.12701/yujm.2020.00885.

Safety and effectiveness of early cardiac rehabilitation in a stroke patient with heart failure and atrial fibrillation: a case report

  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea


Stroke patients have reduced aerobic capacity. Therefore, intensive structured exercise programs are needed. We report the case of a patient with stroke and cardiac disease who underwent early inpatient cardiac rehabilitation (CR). A 38-year-old male patient with atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and cerebral infarction underwent a symptom-limited exercise tolerance test (ETT) without any problems on day 45 after admission. He completed a 2-week inpatient program and an 8-week home-based CR program. Follow-up ETT showed increased exercise capacity. The present case might be the first to report a safely performed CR program in a patient with stroke and cardiac comorbidity in Korea. Systematic guidance is needed for post-stroke patients to receive safe and effective CR for the secondary prevention of stroke and cardiovascular risk.


Cardiac rehabilitation; Exercise; Heart failure; Stroke


  • Fig. 1. (A) Brain magnetic resonance imaging shows infarction (arrow) of the left middle cerebral arterial territory (diffusion-weighted image, axial view). (B) Brain magnetic resonance angiography shows occlusion (arrow) of the M1 segment of the left middle cerebral arterial territory.

  • Fig. 2. Chest X-ray shows pulmonary edema, pleural effusion, and mild cardiomegaly (arrows).

  • Fig. 3. (A) The photograph shows symptom-limited exercise tolerance test. (B) The photograph shows electrocardiogram-monitored exercise training.



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