Exercise Oscillatory Ventilation in Systolic Heart Failure
An Indicator of Impaired Hemodynamic Response to Exercise
Background—Exercise oscillatory ventilation (EOV) is a noninvasive parameter that potently predicts outcomes in systolic heart failure (HF). However, mechanistic insights into EOV have been limited by the absence of studies relating EOV to invasive hemodynamic measurements and blood gases performed during exercise.
Methods and Results—Fifty-six patients with systolic HF (mean±SEM age, 59±2 years; left ventricular ejection fraction, 30±1%) and 19 age-matched control subjects were studied with incremental cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Fick cardiac outputs, filling pressures, and arterial blood gases were measured at 1-minute intervals during exercise. We detected EOV in 45% of HF (HF+EOV) patients and in none of the control subjects. The HF+EOV group did not differ from the HF patients without EOV (HF−EOV) in age, sex, body mass index, left ventricular ejection fraction, or origin of HF. Univariate predictors of the presence of EOV in HF, among measurements performed during exercise, included higher right atrial pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and lower cardiac index (CI) but not Paco2 or Pao2. Multivariate logistic regression identified that low exercise CI is the strongest predictor of EOV (odds ratio, 1.39 for each 1.0-L · min−1 · m−2 decrement in CI; 95% confidence interval, 1.14–1.70; P=0.001). Among HF patients with EOV, exercise CI was inversely related to EOV cycle length (R=−0.71) and amplitude (R=−0.60; both P<0.001). In 11 HF+EOV subjects treated with 12 weeks of sildenafil, EOV cycle length and amplitude decreased proportionately to increases in CI.
Conclusion—Exercise oscillatory ventilation is closely related to reduced CI and elevated filling pressures during exercise and may be an important surrogate for exercise-induced hemodynamic impairment in HF patients.
- Received February 16, 2011.
- Accepted July 29, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.