Correlation between peripheral endothelial function, oxygen consumption and ventilatory efficiency in heart transplantation recipients.

de Souza JAF; Physiotherapy Dept, Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) and Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCAR)Brazil.
Catai AM; Araújo BTS; Barros AEVR; de Aguiar MIR; Campos SL; de Andrade AD; Brandão DC;

Heart & lung : the journal of critical care [Heart Lung] 2023 Dec 12.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 Dec 12.

Background: Endothelial dysfunction and peak oxygen uptake (VO 2peak ) are also predictors of increased risk of cardiovascular events in heart transplantation (HTx) recipients. The preservation of endothelial function may contribute to exercise tolerance.
Objective: To investigate the correlation between peripheral endothelial function and exercise tolerance through VO 2peak and ventilation to carbon dioxide production slope (VE / VCO 2 slope ) in HTx recipients.
Methods: A pilot cross-sectional study was conducted with adult individuals aged 18-65 years, HTx ≥ six months after surgery, who had a stable medical condition and no changes over the last three months of immunosuppressive treatment. The patients underwent an assessment of endothelial function through PAT (EndoPAT-2000®) and performed a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET).
Results: A total of 41% of the studied population presented endothelial dysfunction. The individuals were divided into two groups: the endothelial dysfunction (GED; n=9) group and the normal endothelial function (GNEF; n=13) group according to the logarithm of the reactive hyperemia index (LnRHI). There was a positive and moderate correlation between the LnRHI and VO 2 peak (r=0.659, p=0.013) and a negative and moderate correlation between the LnRHI and VE/VCO 2 slope (r= -0.686, p= 0.009) in the GNEF. However, no significant correlations were found in the GED.
Conclusion: The results showed that the preservation of peripheral endothelial function is significantly correlated with an increase in exercise tolerance in individuals after HTx. These findings bring important considerations for cardiovascular risk prevention and emphasize that therapeutic strategies with physical training programs must be implemented early.