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Cardiol Res Pract. 2011 Mar 2;2011:692862. doi: 10.4061/2011/692862.

Increased left ventricular stiffness impairs exercise capacity in patients with heart failure symptoms despite normal left ventricular ejection fraction.

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1
Department of Cardiology and Pulmonology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

AIMS:

Several mechanisms can be involved in the development of exercise intolerance in patients with heart failure despite normal left ventricular ejection fraction (HFNEF) and may include impairment of left ventricular (LV) stiffness. We therefore investigated the influence of LV stiffness, determined by pressure-volume loop analysis obtained by conductance catheterization, on exercise capacity in HFNEF.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

27 HFNEF patients who showed LV diastolic dysfunction in pressure-volume (PV) loop analysis performed symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and were compared with 12 patients who did not show diastolic dysfunction in PV loop analysis. HFNEF patients revealed a lower peak performance (P = .046), breathing reserve (P = .006), and ventilation equivalent for carbon dioxide production at rest (P = .002). LV stiffness correlated with peak oxygen uptake (r = -0.636, P < .001), peak oxygen uptake at ventilatory threshold (r = -0.500, P = .009), and ventilation equivalent for carbon dioxide production at ventilatory threshold (r = 0.529, P = .005).

CONCLUSIONS:

CPET parameters such as peak oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake at ventilatory threshold, and ventilation equivalent for carbon dioxide production at ventilatory threshold correlate with LV stiffness. Increased LV stiffness impairs exercise capacity in HFNEF.

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