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Pediatr Cardiol. 2018 Aug 18. doi: 10.1007/s00246-018-1962-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Determinants of Exercise Performance in Children and Adolescents with Repaired Tetralogy of Fallot Using Stress Echocardiography.

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Division of Cardiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3401 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Division of Cardiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3401 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.


Exercise performance is variable and often impaired in patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (rTOF). We sought to identify factors associated with exercise performance by comparing high to low performers on cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) in patients with rTOF. We conducted a cross-sectional study of subjects presenting for CPET who underwent echocardiograms at rest and peak exercise. Patients with pacemakers and arrhythmias were excluded. Right ventricular (RV) global longitudinal strain was used as a measure of systolic function. Pulmonary insufficiency (PI) was assessed with the diastolic systolic ratio and the diastolic systolic time-velocity integral ratio by Doppler interrogation of the pulmonary artery. CPET measures included percent-predicted maximum [Formula: see text] [Formula: see text], percent-predicted maximum work and oxygen pulse. High versus low performers were identified as those achieving [Formula: see text] of at least 80% or falling below, respectively. Differences in echocardiographic parameters from rest to peak exercise were examined using mixed-effects regression models. Compared to the low performers (n = 17), high performers (n = 12) were younger (12.8 ± 3.3 years vs. 18.3 ± 4.8 years), had normal chronotropic response (peak heart rate > 185 bpm) with greater heart rate reserve and superior physical working capacity. High performers also had a greater reduction in PI at peak exercise, despite greater PI severity at rest. Oxygen pulse was comparable between groups. For both groups, there was no association of PI severity and RV systolic function at rest with exercise parameters. There was no group difference in the magnitude of change in RV strain and diastolic parameters from rest to peak exercise. Chronotropic response to exercise appears to be an important parameter with which to assess exercise performance in rTOF. Chronotropic health should be taken into consideration in this population, particularly given that RV function and PI severity at rest were not associated with exercise performance.


Cardiopulmonary exercise testing; Congenital heart disease; Stress echocardiography; Tetralogy of Fallot


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