Left ventricular abnormal response during dynamic exercise in patients with heart failure and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction at rest

Pierre V Ennezat, Yann Lefetz, Sylvestre Maréchaux, Marie Six-Carpentier, Ghislaine Deklunder, David Montaigne, Jean Jacques Bauchart, Claire Mounier-Véhier, Brigitte Jude, Rémi Nevière, Christophe Bauters, Philippe Asseman, Pascal de Groote, Thierry H Lejemtel
Journal of Cardiac Failure 2008, 14 (6): 475-80

BACKGROUND: The mechanisms that contribute to limit functional capacity are incompletely understood in patients with preserved resting ejection fraction (HFpREF). We assessed left ventricular (LV) systolic response to dynamic exercise in patients with HFpREF and in patients with similar comorbidities to HFpREF patients but without history or evidence of heart failure.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-five HFpREF patients in steady-state clinical condition without significant coronary artery disease and 25 hypertensive controls underwent exercise echocardiography. At rest, systolic pulmonary artery pressure, left atrial area, E/A and E/e' ratios were greater in patients with HFpREF than in control patients, whereas peak systolic mitral annular velocity was lower in HFpREF patients. The exercise-induced changes in LVEF, forward stroke volume, and cardiac output were significantly lower in HFpREF compared with control patients (-4 +/- 8 vs. +6 +/- 6 %, P = .001; -4 +/- 9 vs. +10 +/- 10 mL, P < .0001, and 1.6 +/- 1.2 vs. 3.5 +/- 1.8 L/min, P < .0001, respectively). Exercise-induced changes in effective arterial elastance significantly differed in HFpREF and control patients (0.5 +/- 0.6 vs. -0.2 +/- 0.5 mm Hg/mL, P < .0001). In addition, 7 of the 25 HFpREF patients developed functional mitral regurgitation during exercise and none in controls.

CONCLUSIONS: When compared with patients with similar comorbidities but without history or evidence of heart failure, patients with HFpREF experience greater arterial stiffening and thereby a deterioration of global LV systolic performance during dynamic exercise.

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