Patients with Lower Extremity Peripheral Artery Disease (LEPAD) have been recently identified as target groups for structured Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation (CPR) programs, whose core components and intervention goals are now well recognized. Historically, exercise training (ET) programs have been employed for the treatment of LEPAD with typical intermittent claudication, and several meta-analysis documented improvements in walking distances of enrolled patients. Both in American and European guidelines, a frequency of at least 3 sessions per week and program duration of 12 weeks were judged as optimal, while recommended sessions lengths were 30-45 minutes and 30-60 minutes respectively. Among emerging aspects in the field of LEPAD rehabilitation, 1) the extended role of CPR programs in stages other than that of intermittent claudication, 2) an updated identification of predictors of poor outcome after ET, 3) the attributable effect of exercise on global cardio-respiratory fitness in LEPAD, 4) the combination of ET and invasive measures for advanced stages of LEPAD, and 5) the role of community walking programs have been discussed.
Peripheral arterial disease; rehabilitation; exercise.