Pulmonary Vascular Pressures and Gas Exchange Response to Exercise in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction.

Fermoyle CC;Stewart GM;Borlaug BA;Johnson BD;

Journal of cardiac failure [J Card Fail] 2020 Aug 01. Date of Electronic Publication: 2020 Aug 01.

Elevated left ventricular filling pressure (measured as mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure) at rest or with exercise is diagnostic of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. However, the capacity of the right ventricle to compensate for a high mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and thus maintain an appropriate transpulmonary gradient (TPG) and perfusion of the pulmonary capillaries is likely an important contributor to gas exchange efficiency and exercise capacity. Therefore, this study aimed to determine whether a higher TPG at peak exercise is associated with superior exercise capacity and gas exchange. Gas exchange data from dyspneic patients referred for exercise right heart catheterization were retrospectively analyzed and patients were split into two groups based on TPG. Patients with a higher TPG at peak exercise had a higher peak VO 2 (1025 ± 227 vs 823 ± 276, P = .038), end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide (42.2 ± 7.9 vs 38.0 ± 4.7, P = .044), and gas exchange estimates of pulmonary vascular capacitance (408 ± 90 vs 268 ± 108, P = .001). A higher TPG at peak exercise correlated with a higher peak oxygen uptake, O 2 pulse, and stroke volume (R = 0.42, 0.44 and 0.42, respectively, all P < 0.05). These findings indicate that a greater TPG with exercise might be important for improving exercise capacity in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.