Activities of daily living in heart failure patients and healthy subjects: when the cardiopulmonary assessment goes beyond traditional exercise test protocols

M. Mapelli, E. Salvioni, I. Mattavelli, P. Gugliandolo, A. Bonomi, P. Palermo, et al.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2023 Vol. 30 Issue Suppl 2 Pages ii47-ii53

Heart failure (HF) patients traditionally report dyspnoea as their main symptom. Although the cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) and 6 min walking test are the standardized tools in assessing functional capacity, neither cycle ergometers nor treadmill maximal efforts do fully represent the actual HF patients’ everyday activities [activities of daily living (ADLs)] (i.e. climbing the stairs). New-generation portable metabolimeters allow the clinician to measure task-related oxygen intake (VO2) in different scenarios and exercise protocols. In the last years, we have made considerable progress in understanding the ventilatory and metabolic behaviours of HF patients and healthy subjects during tasks aimed to reproduce ADLs. In this paper, we describe the most recent findings in the field, with special attention to the relationship between the metabolic variables obtained during ADLs and CPET parameters (i.e. peak VO2), demonstrating, for example, how exercises traditionally thought to be undemanding, such as a walk, instead represent supramaximal efforts, particularly for subjects with advanced HF and/or artificial heart (left ventricular assist devices) wearers.
This article summarizes the most recent evidence on the cardiometabolic behaviours of a full spectrum of heart failure (HF) patients of different severity during their daily life activities (i.e. walking, making a bed, and taking the stairs).Heart failure patients experience symptoms (mostly dyspnoea) during daily activities that sometimes represent maximal or supramaximal exercises for them, particularly for the most severe patients.Measuring metabolic parameters (O2 intake, ventilation, and CO2 production) through appropriate devices during these activities provides a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying HF patients’ symptoms and their adaptation. This can lead to the detection of new parameters that can become novel patient-centred prognostic markers or therapeutic targets for drugs and rehabilitation treatments.