Research Project Summary

Fluid overload is a progressive body fluid retention or redistribution that impedes multiple body system functions and leads to symptoms of pulmonary congestion (e.g., dyspnea) and systemic venous congestion (e.g., edema). Lymphatic exercises designed to stimulate lymphatic system by simulating lymphatic pumping is effective to reduce fluid level and fluid accumulation symptoms in cancer patients but it has never been tested in patients with HF, and the relationship between lymphatic system stimulation and fluid overload symptoms in HF is unknown. The overall goal of our research program is to investigate the impact of lymphatic system stimulation on fluid overload symptoms and body fluid level in HF. We propose a pilot single-blind two-group randomized controlled trial to examine the feasibility and preliminary effects of 4-week lymphatic exercise training in 40 adult patients with HF. The study aims are to (1) assess the feasibility and acceptability of lymphatic exercise training and obtaining data on fluid overload symptoms and body fluid level in adult patients with HF; and (2) provide preliminary data for estimation of the short-term effects of lymphatic exercise training on fluid overload symptoms and body fluid level at post-training.

Research Project Goals

To investigate the feasibility and efficacy of the lymphatic exercise therapy in reducing fluid overload symptoms and body fluid level in patients with heart failure

Research Project Objectives

1) To promote health-equity in HF outcomes in Camden given the poorer statistics compared to NJ. 2) Investigate the feasibility/efficacy of lymphatic therapy across different racial groups, given the mixed racial make-up of the residents of Camden.