Better parameters of ventilation-CO₂output relationship predict death in CHF patients

You-xiu Yao, Xing-guo Sun, Zhe Zheng, Gui-zhi Wang, James E Hansen, William W Stringer, Karlman Wasserman, Sheng-shou Hu
Chinese Journal of Applied Physiology 2015, 31 (6): 508-16

OBJECTIVE: Measures of ventilation-CO₂output relationship have been shown to be more prognostic than peak O₂uptake in assessing life expectancy in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Because both the ratios (VE/Vco₂) and slopes (VE-vs-Vco₂) of ventilation-co₂ output of differing durations can be used, we aim to ascertain which measurements best predicted CHF life expectancy.

METHODS: Two hundred and seventy-one CHF patients with NYHA class II-IV underwent incremental cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and were followed-up for a median duration of 479 days. Four different linear regression VE-vs- Vco₂ slopes were calculated from warm-up exercise onset to: 180 s, anaerobic threshold (AT), ventilatory compensation point (VCP); and peak exercise. Five VE/Vco₂ ratios were calculated for the following durations: rest (120 s), warm-up (30 s), AT (60 s), lowest value (90 s), and peak exercise (30 s). Death or heart transplant were considered end-points. Multiple statistical analyses were performed.

RESULTS: CHF patients had high lowest VE/Vco₂ (41.0 ± 9.2, 141 ± 30%pred), high VE/Vco₂ at AT (42.5 ± 10.4, 145 ± 35%pred), and high VE-vs-Vco₂ slope to VCP (37.6 ± 12.1, 126 ± 41%pred). The best predictor of death was a higher lowest VE/Vco₂ (≥ 42, ≥ 141%pred), whereas the VE-vs-Vco₂slope to VCP was less variable than other slopes. For death prognosis in 6 months, %pred values were superior: for longer times, absolute values were superior.

CONCLUSION: The increased lowest VE/Vco₂ ratio easily identifiable and simply measured during exercise, is the best measurement to assess the ventilation-co₂output relationship in prognosticating death in CHF patients.

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