Does reduced cardiopulmonary exercise testing performance predict poorer quality of life in adult patients with Fontan physiology?

Suter B; Kay WA; Kuhlenhoelter AM; Ebenroth ES;

Cardiology in the young [Cardiol Young] 2020 Oct 21, pp. 1-7. Date of Electronic Publication: 2020 Oct 21.

Background: Cardiopulmonary exercise testing performance has been shown to be a predictor of morbidity, mortality, and quality of life in patients with Fontan physiology; however, the role of exercise performance along with other diagnostics is not fully understood. We evaluated the hypothesis that reduced exercise performance correlates with poorer quality of life in Fontan patients as they continue to age.
Methods: Chart review was performed on patients 12 years and older with Fontan who had completed cardiopulmonary exercise testing and age-appropriate quality of life surveys. Quality of life outcomes were analysed against exercise performance and other descriptive data.
Results: For the younger cohort (n = 22), exercise performance predicted quality of life with different measures across domains and had a stronger correlation than echocardiographic parameters. For the older cohort (n = 34), exercise performance did not predict quality of life.
Conclusions: Objective exercise performance was a useful marker for general, physical, emotional, social, and school quality of life in a younger cohort but less helpful in older adults. This is perhaps due to older patients accommodating to their conditions over time. The role of exercise performance and objective data in predicting quality of life in patients with Fontan physiology is incompletely understood and additional prospective evaluation should be undertaken.