Terol Espinosa de Los Monteros C; Van der Palen RLF; Hazekamp MG; Rammeloo L; Jongbloed MRM; Blom NA; Harkel ADJT;
Pediatric cardiology [Pediatr Cardiol] 2021 Feb 01. Date of Electronic Publication: 2021 Feb 01.
After the arterial switch operation (ASO) for transposition of the great arteries (TGA), many patients have an impaired exercise tolerance. Exercise tolerance is determined with cardiopulmonary exercise testing by peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak ). Unlike VO2peak , the oxygen uptake efficiency slope (OUES) does not require a maximal effort for interpretation. The value of OUES has not been assessed in a large group of patients after ASO. The purpose of this study was to determine OUES and VO2peak , evaluate its interrelationship and assess whether exercise tolerance is related to ventricular function after ASO. A cardiopulmonary exercise testing, assessment of physical activity score and transthoracic echocardiography (fractional shortening and left/right ventricular global longitudinal peak strain) were performed to 48 patients after ASO. Median age at follow-up after ASO was 16.0 (IQR 13.0-18.0) years. Shortening fraction was normal (36 ± 6%). Left and right global longitudinal peak strain were reduced: 15.1 ± 2.4% and 19.5 ± 4.5%. This group of patients showed lower values for all cardiopulmonary exercise testing parameters compared to the reference values: mean VO 2peak % 75% (95% CI 72-77) and mean OUES% 82(95% CI 77-87); without significant differences between subtypes of TGA. A strong-to-excellent correlation between the VO2peak and OUES was found (absolute values: R = 0.90, p < 0.001; normalized values: R = 0.79, p < 0.001). No correlation was found between cardiopulmonary exercise testing results and left ventricle function parameters. In conclusion, OUES and VO2peak were lower in patients after ASO compared to reference values but are strongly correlated, making OUES a valuable tool to use in this patient group when maximal effort is not achievable.