Open Access Study protocol

Study protocol: a randomised controlled trial investigating the effect of exercise training on peripheral blood gene expression in patients with stable angina

Liam Bourke1, Garry A Tew1, Marta Milo34, David C Crossman34, John M Saxton2 and Timothy JA Chico34*

Author Affiliations

1 The Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Collegiate Hall, Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S10 2BP, UK

2 School of Allied Health Professions, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

3 NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, Sheffield Foundation Trust NHS Trust, Herries Road, Sheffield, S5 7AU, UK

4 Department of Cardiovascular Science, University of Sheffield, Medical School, Beechill Road, Sheffield, S10 2TF, UK

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:620  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-620

Published: 18 October 2010



Exercise training has been shown to reduce angina and promote collateral vessel development in patients with coronary artery disease. However, the mechanism whereby exercise exerts these beneficial effects is unclear. There has been increasing interest in the use of whole genome peripheral blood gene expression in a wide range of conditions to attempt to identify both novel mechanisms of disease and transcriptional biomarkers. This protocol describes a study in which we will assess the effect of a structured exercise programme on peripheral blood gene expression in patients with stable angina, and correlate this with changes in angina level, anxiety, depression, and exercise capacity.


Sixty patients with stable angina will be recruited and randomised 1:1 to exercise training or conventional care. Patients randomised to exercise training will attend an exercise physiology laboratory up to three times weekly for supervised aerobic interval training sessions of one hour in total duration. Patients will undergo assessments of angina, anxiety, depression, and peripheral blood gene expression at baseline, after six and twelve weeks of training, and twelve weeks after formal exercise training ceases.


This study will provide comprehensive data on the effect of exercise training on peripheral blood gene expression in patients with angina. By correlating this with improvement in angina status we will identify candidate peripheral blood transcriptional markers predictive of improvements in angina level in response to exercise training.

Trial Registration identifier: NCT01147952