Cardiovascular Exercise & Rehabilitation Laboratory

CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE & REHABILITATION 

Cardiac rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary intervention involving different areas of scientific knowledge. Exercise is one of the major components with proven benefits in cardiovascular patients. Investigation in this field is expanding, mostly translational, effectively needing transversal interaction with several areas, including physiology, molecular biology, bioengineering and neurosciences.

Among cardiovascular disease, heart failure and atherosclerotic coronary disease, have mostly been targeted by this intervention. Nowadays, new focus are aimed, like transplant, CRT, ICD and LVAD.

The Exercise and Cardiac Rehabilitation Research Unit offers standard or cardiopulmonary exercise testing with exercise echocardiography, using cycloergometer or treadmill. It allows the possibility to evaluate changes in left ventricular mass and remodelling and left and right ventricular systolic and diastolic function in response to acute and chronic exercise in different situations, namely after several cardiac interventions, by exercise echocardiography and, at the same time, to determine the objective functional capacity by gas exchange analysis. These techniques allow evaluation of cardiac patients or individuals for diagnostic, prognostic and intervention response purpose.

For investigation, several topics can be interesting in cardiac diseases, including inflammation, autonomic nervous system, endothelial function, cognitive function and muscle strength and molecular biology. All of these areas will need the integration of skills and knowledge of several disciplines.

 The possibility in this Research Unit to clinically verify hypothesis tested in animal laboratories is also a reality. In this lab, we intend to join efforts of cardiologists, internists, exercise physiologists, technicians, biologists, engineers and others.

Among our priorities, some lines for investigation are: Effects of different types of exercise (HIIT/MCT) in heart failure/CAD; Mechanisms of action of exercise in different protocols and patients; Exercise and inflammation; Exercise and autonomic nervous system; Exercise and reverse remodelling; Exercise and oncologic or neurologic patients; Exercise responders’ predictors and mechanisms for nonresponse; Cardiac rehabilitation programs for frail, TAVI and elderly patients; Cardiac rehabilitation for women; Cardiac rehabilitation for cardiac patients with comorbidities; Cardiac rehabilitation in depression;  Tools for long-term exercise adherence.

RESEARCH TEAM

Abreu, Ana, MD, PhD

Abreu, Ana, MD, PhD

Group Leader

Medical Degree (1984), Lisbon School of Medicine, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Cardiology Consultant Degree (2002). Coordinator of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Cardiology Department of Hospital Santa Marta, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Centro (2004-2017), Lisbon Portugal. Coordinator of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Cardiology Department, Santa Maria University Hospital/ Pulido Valente Hospital, CHULN, EPE Lisbon, Portugal (2018). PhD (Cardiology) – Nova Medical School, 2016 – Beneficial effect of exercise training in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy. Assistant Professor of Cardiology of the Lisbon School of Medicine, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Chair of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Section of EAPC (2015-2017), Past-Chair (2018). Chair of he Portuguese Working Group of Nuclear Cardiology (1999-2000). Chair of the Portuguese Working Group of Exercise Pathophysiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation (2007-2011; 2013-2017). National Coordinator for Prevention of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology (2017). ORCID: 0000-0003-0786-7830

E-mail: ananabreu@hotmail.com

Aguiar-Ricardo, Inês, MD

Aguiar-Ricardo, Inês, MD

Medical Degree in 2013 (NOVA Medical School, Lisbon). Cardiology training at Santa Maria Hospital – CHULN, E.P.E, Lisbon (2014-). Post-graduation in Sports Medicine (Faculty of Medicine of Porto University, July 2018). Cardiology Invited Assistant, NOVA Medical School, Lisbon (2014-2016). Areas of interest:  heart failure and cardiomyopathies, cardiac rehabilitation, sports medicine.

Co-Researcher in Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies

E-mail: ines.a.ricardo@gmail.com

Borges, Mariana, MSc

Borges, Mariana, MSc

Mariana Borges has concluded her Master’s Degree in Exercise and Health in 2017 through the Faculty of Human Kinetics – University of Lisbon and has also a degree in Sports Science concluded in 2015 through the same institution. She has worked from 2017 until 2020 as a Researcher/Exercise Fisiologist in Instituto de Medicina Molecular in a project entitled “The Impact of Physical Activity in Vascular Cognitive Impairment (AFIVASC)”. Since 2020 has been working as an Exercise Fisiologist in Centro de Reabilitação Cardiovascular da Universidade de Lisboa (CRECUL) collaborating  in several research/scientific projets. Her areas of interest are Exercise and Health, Physical Fitness, Cardiovascular Disease, Coronary Artery Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment. 

E-mail:mariana.borges@medicina.ulisboa.pt 

Pinto, Rita, PhD

Pinto, Rita, PhD

Rita Pinto holds a PhD in Physical Activity and Health (2019) at the Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon (FMH-UL), Portugal. She completed her Graduation degree in Sports Science (2010) and a Master degree in Exercise and Health (2012) at the FMH-UL. She is currently an Invited Researcher at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (FMUL) and an Exercise Physiologist at the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Center of the University of Lisbon (CRECUL).

She is also a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Human Performance – CIPER, Lisbon, Portugal.

Her main research targets are: Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Testing and Training, Long term Adherence.​

E-mail: mrpinto@medicina.ulisboa.pt

Pires, Madalena, MSc

Pires, Madalena, MSc

Madalena Lemos Pires completed a Master in Exercise and Health in 2018 through the Faculty of Human Kinetics of the University of Lisbon and has a Degree in Sports Sciences completed in 2015 through the Faculty of Human Kinetics of the University of Lisbon. Since 2017 works as an Exercise Physiologist at Centro de Reabilitação Cardiovascular da Universidade de Lisboa (CRECUL) and since 2015 as a Fitness Instructor at Estádio Universitário de Lisboa. She also colaborates in several scientific research projects in her area(s) of work/interest such as: Medical and Health Sciences with emphasis on Sport and Fitness Sciences, Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation.

E-mail:madalenap@medicina.ulisboa.pt

Ruivo, Jorge, MD, PhD

Ruivo, Jorge, MD, PhD

Jorge Ruivo graduated at the Lisbon School of Medicine of the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal in 2004. He did his Internal Medicine training at Santa Maria Hospital – CHULN, E.P.E., Lisbon, Portugal, where he worked as an Internal Medicine Consultant until 2019, before joining an international pharmaceutical company, where he currently holds the position of head of cardiovascular medical affairs. He has a post-graduation in Sports Medicine since 2007 by the Portuguese Sports Medicine Society and Lisbon School of Medicine of the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal . He also has a MSc (masters) degree in Cardiac rehabilitation since 2015 by Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. In 2018 he finished a PhD in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the University College London with PhD grants from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. He is an Internal Medicine Assistant Professor at Lisbon School of Medicine of the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal since 2016. He is also an Invited lecturer at an Exercise and Wellbeing MSc degree at Universidade Lusófona, Lisbon since 2009. He is a researcher at Cardiovascular Centre of Lisbon University (CCUL) since 2014. He is a member of the Scientific committee of the National Programme for Physical activity promotion from Direcção Geral da Saúde. He is also part of the Fighting Physical Inactivity committee of ECOSEP, Europe. He takes part of the Editorial Board and reviews for Revista Medicina Desportiva inForma. He has reviewed papers for Games for Health Journal, Revista Factores de Risco, BMC Geriatrics and Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention.  Areas of interest: Cardiovascular prevention and Rehabilitation, Sports and Exercise Medicine, Hypertension, Cardiovascular regenerative Medicine

E-mail: jorgearsenioruivo@gmail.com