Background: Prior systematic reviews and meta-analysis addressed that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) improved inspiratory muscle weakness, cardiorespiratory fitness and quality of life similar to conventional exercise training as a first alternative in deconditioned patients with heart failure (HF) lead to a better adaptation to posterior exercise training. The heterogeneity and variability in a wide range of new studies about this topic led to the necessity of an updated and comprehensive narrative review. The present review aimed to analyze and update the most relevant studies about IMT in patients who suffer from HF. Methods: A narrative review was carried out about IMT in HF patients including 26 experimental studies divided into 21 clinical trials and 5 quasi-experimental studies identified through database searching in PubMed, Cochrane and PEDro. Results: There is enough evidence to state that IMT produces improvements in functional capacity of patients with HF. Nevertheless, there is not enough evidence to support that IMT could improve cardiovascular parameters, blood biomarkers or quality of life in these patients. Conclusions: Thus, IMT may be recommended to improve functional capacity in patients who suffer from HF; nevertheless, more evidence is needed regarding cardiovascular parameters, biomarkers and quality of life. Furthermore, mortality or HF hospitalization was not evaluated and most studies were not longer than 3 months. According to IMT protocols and study designs heterogeneity and mid-term follow-up, further investigations through high-quality long-term randomized clinical trials should be performed to achieve systematic reviews and meta-analysis to support strong evidence for IMT in HF patients.
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