Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Patients with Asymptomatic or Equivocal Symptomatic Aortic Stenosis: Feasibility, Reproducibility, Safety and Information Obtained on Exercise Physiology

van Le,
Douet; Jensen, Gunnar Vagn Hagemann; Carstensen, Steen; Kjøller-Hansen,

Cardiology, November 2015, Vol. 133 Issue: Number 3 p147-156,

Objective:The aim of this study was to determine the
feasibility, reproducibility, safety and information obtained on
exercise physiology from cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX) in
patients with aortic stenosis.
Methods:Patients with an aortic valve
area (AVA) <1.3 cm2who were judged asymptomatic or equivocal
symptomatic underwent CPX and an inert gas rebreathing test. Only those
where comprehensive evaluation of CPX results indicated haemodynamic
compromise from aortic stenosis were referred for valve replacement.
Results:The mean patient age was 72 (±9) years; an AVA index <0.6
cm2/m2and equivocal symptomatic status were found in 90 and 70%,
respectively. CPX was feasible in 130 of the 131 patients. The
coefficients of repeatability by test-retest were 5.4% (pVO2) and 4.6%
(peak O2pulse). A pVO2<83% of the expected was predicted by a lower
stroke volume at exercise, lower peak heart rate and FEV1, and higher
VE/VCO2, but not by AVA index. Equivocal symptomatic status and a low
gradient but high valvulo-arterial impedance were associated with a
lower pVO2, but not with an inability to increase stroke volume. In
total, 18 patients were referred for valve replacement. At 1 year, no
cardiovascular deaths had occurred.
Conclusions:CPX was feasible and
reproducible and provided comprehensive data on exercise physiology. A
CPX-guided treatment strategy was safe up to 1 year.