Effects of respiratory exchange ratio on the prognostic value of peak oxygen consumption and ventilatory efficiency in patients with systolic heart failure

Paul J Chase, Aarti Kenjale, Lawrence P Cahalin, Ross Arena, Paul G Davis, Jonathan Myers, Marco Guazzi, Daniel E Forman, Euan Ashley, Mary Ann Peberdy, Erin West, Christopher T Kelly, Daniel R Bensimhon
JACC. Heart Failure 2013, 1 (5): 427-32

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the prognostic characteristics of peak oxygen consumption (Vo2) and the minute ventilation/carbon dioxide (VE/Vco2) slope of different peak respiratory exchange ratios (RERs) obtained from cardiopulmonary exercise testing in patients with heart failure (HF).

BACKGROUND: For patients with HF, peak Vo2 and the VE/Vco2 slope are used for assessing prognosis. Peak Vo2 is assessed in association with peak RER ≥1.10, indicating maximal effort and prognostic sensitivity. Conversely, the VE/Vco2 slope provides effort-independent prognostic discrimination.

METHODS: Patients with HF scheduled to undergo cardiopulmonary exercise testing were enrolled. Patients were subclassified by peak RER (RER <1.00, RER 1.00 to 1.04, RER 1.05 to 1.09, RER ≥1.10) and followed for up to 3 years for major cardiac-related events (death, left ventricular assist device implantation, or cardiac transplantation).

RESULTS: Included were 1,728 patients with HF (75% males; 40% ischemic etiology; age: 55 ± 14 years; left ventricular ejection fraction: 28 ± 10%). Two hundred seventy major events occurred, with no proportional differences across the RER subgroups. Multivariate Cox regression analysis indicated that the VE/Vco2 slope and peak Vo2 remained prognostic within each subgroup; the VE/Vco2 slope remained the strongest predictor. Receiver-operating characteristic analysis demonstrated equitable prognostic cutoffs for the VE/Vco2 slope (range: 34.9 to 35.7; area under the curve [AUC] range: 0.69 to 0.75) and peak Vo2 (range: 13.8 to 14.0 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1); AUC range: 0.68 to 0.75).

CONCLUSIONS: Peak Vo2 provided a sensitive assessment of prognosis in patients with HF in all RER subgroups. The VE/Vco2 slope provided greater prognostic discrimination in all RER subgroups. Clinical consideration may be warranted for patients with low RER, low peak Vo2, and an elevated VE/Vco2 slope.


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