Characteristics and Safety of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Elderly Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases in Korea.

Kim BJ; Kim Y; Oh J; Jang J; Kang SM;

Yonsei Medical Journal [Yonsei Med J] 2019 Jun; Vol. 60 (6), pp. 547-553.

Purpose: Clinical use of cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPETs) is increasing in elderly patients with cardiovascular (CV) diseases. However, data on Korean populations are limited. In this study, we aimed to examine the characteristics and safety of CPET in an elderly Korean population with CV disease.
Materials and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed records of 1485 patients (older than 65 years in age, with various underlying CV diseases) who underwent CPET. All CPET was performed using the modified Bruce ramp protocol.
Results: The mean age of patients was 71.6±4.7 years with 63.9% being men, 567 patients aged 60-65 years, 818 patients aged 70-79 years, and 100 patients aged 80-89 years. The mean respiratory exchange ratio was 1.09±0.14. During CPET, three adverse cardiovascular events occurred (total 0.20%), all ventricular tachycardia. All subjects showed an average exercise capacity of 21.3±5.5 mL/kg/min at peak VO₂ and 6.1±1.6 metabolic equivalents of task, and men showed better exercise capacity than women on most CEPT parameters. A significant difference was seen in peak oxygen uptake according to age group (65-69 years, 22.9±5.8; 70-79 years, 20.7±5.1; 80-89 years, 17.0±4.5 mL/kg/min, p<0.001). The most common causes for CPET termination were dyspnea (64.8%) and leg pain (24.3%), with higher incidence of leg pain in octogenarians compared to other age groups (65-69 years, 22.4%; 70-79 years, 24.6%; 80-89 years, 32.0%, p<0.001).
Conclusion: CPET was relatively a safe and useful modality to assess exercise capacity, even in an elderly Korean population with underlying CV diseases.