Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: relevance of a dedicated dyspnoea clinic.

Verwerft J; Soens L; Wynants J; Meysman M; Jogani S; Plein D; Stroobants S; Herbots L; Verbrugge FH;

European heart journal [Eur Heart J] 2023 Mar 16.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 Mar 16.

Background and Aims: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a syndrome with a heterogeneous presentation. This study provides an in-depth description of haemodynamic and metabolic alterations revealed by systematic assessment through cardiopulmonary exercise testing combined with exercise echocardiography (CPETecho) within a dedicated dyspnoea clinic.
Methods and Results: Consecutive patients (n = 297), referred to a dedicated dyspnoea clinic using a standardized workup including CPETecho, with HFpEF diagnosed through a H2FPEF score ≥6 or HFA-PEFF score ≥5, were evaluated. A median of four haemodynamic/metabolic alterations was uncovered per patient: impaired stroke volume reserve (73%), impaired chronotropic reserve (72%), exercise pulmonary hypertension (65%), and impaired diastolic reserve (64%) were the most frequent cardiac alterations. Impaired peripheral oxygen extraction and a ventilatory limitation were present in 40% and 39%, respectively. In 267 patients (90%), 575 further diagnostic examinations were recommended (median of two tests per patient). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, coronary or amyloidosis workup, ventilation-perfusion scanning, and pulmonology referral were each recommended in approximately one out of three patients. In 293 patients (99%), 929 cardiovascular drug optimizations were performed (median of 3 modifications per patient). In 110 patients (37%), 132 cardiovascular interventions were performed, with ablation as the most frequent procedure.
Conclusion: Holistic workup of HFpEF patients within a multidisciplinary, dedicated dyspnoea clinic, including systematic implementation of CPETecho reveals various haemodynamic/metabolic alterations, leading to further diagnostic testing and potential treatment changes in the majority of cases.