Increased physiological dead space at exercise is a marker of mild pulmonary or cardiovascular disease in dyspneic subjects.

Plantier L; Delclaux C;

European Clinical Respiratory Journal [Eur Clin Respir J] 2018 Jul 05; Vol. 5 (1), pp. 1492842. Date of Electronic Publication: 20180705 (Print Publication: 2018).

Background: The characteristics of cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET)-derived parameters for the differential diagnosis of exertional dyspnea are not well known.
Objectives: We hypothesized that increased physiological dead space ventilation (VD/Vt) is a marker for mild pulmonary or cardiovascular disease in patients with exertional dyspnea.
Design: We used receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the performance of individual CPET parameters for identifying subjects with either mild pulmonary or cardiovascular disease, among 77 subjects with mild-to-moderate exertional dyspnea (modified Medical Research Council scale 1-2).
Results: In comparison with subjects without disease, subjects with pulmonary disease (n = 31) had higher VE/V’CO2 slope, higher VD/Vt, and lower ventilatory reserve. Subjects with cardiovascular disease (n = 14) had lower heart rate and cardiovascular double product and higher VD/Vt at peak exercise. At a threshold of 28%, the sensitivity and specificity of VD/Vt at peak exercise for identifying pulmonary or cardiovascular disease were 89% (95% CI: 64-98%) and 72% (95% CI: 46-89%), respectively.
Conclusions: Increased physiological VD/Vt at exercise is a sensitive and specific marker of mild pulmonary or cardiovascular disease in dyspneic subjects