Exercise performance in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy: relationship to resting left ventricular function

S Güleç, F Ertaş, E Tutar, N Cağlar, G Akgün, A Alpman, D Oral
International Journal of Cardiology 1998, 65 (3): 247-53
Relationship between maximal exercise tolerance and resting indexes of left ventricular systolic and diastolic function were evaluated in 35 men, aged 55.1 +/- 10.4 years, with dilated cardiomyopathy. Clinical diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy was confirmed with M-mode echocardiography (M-mode echocardiographic end-diastolic dimension >55 mm, fractional shortening <25%, increased E point septal separation). Coronary angiography was considered mandatory for exclusion of patients with coronary artery disease. Patients with mitral regurgitation (> or =grade 2) and rhythm other than sinus were excluded. According to the functional classification of New York Heart Association 6 patients were in class I, 11 in class II, 12 in class III and 6 in class IV. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), stroke volume (SV) and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) were measured with contrast angiography. Peak early (VE) and late (VA) transmitral filling velocities and their ratio (E/A), isovolumetric relaxation time (IRT) and deceleration time (DT) were computed from pulsed wave Doppler echocardiograms. On completion of all resting measurements, patients underwent symptom limited upright treadmill exercise testing using a modified Naughton protocol and maximal exercise performance metabolic equivalent work load (NETS) was calculated from the speed, incline and length of time at the stage using standard tables to make interpatient comparisons. Significant correlation has been found between NYHA class and METS (r= -0.77, P<0.001). However NYHA class II and NYHA class III patients were found to have similar METS (P=0.317). Patients were further divided into two groups on the basis of exercise data. Group I consisted of 22 patients with relatively preserved exercise tolerance (> or =4 METS) and Group II included 13 patients with impaired exercise tolerance (> or =4 METS). This arbitrary classification was based upon previously described survival differences in these two groups. There were no differences between two groups in terms of age, gender distribution (all were male), heart rate and arterial blood pressure. LVEF, LVEDP, stroke volume, VE, VA, E/A, IRT and DT were also similar between two groups. Strong positive correlation was observed between LVEDP and VE (r=0.74) while IRT and VA negatively correlated with LVEDP (r= -0.77 and r= -0.81 respectively) but neither of resting indexes of left ventricular systolic and diastolic function showed significant correlation with METS and exercise duration.

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