Submaximal Exercise Response is Associated with Future Hypertension in Patients with Coarctation of the Aorta.

Holzemer NF; Silveira LJ; Kay J; Khanna AD; Jacobsen RM;

Pediatric cardiology [Pediatr Cardiol] 2023 May 23.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 May 23.

Hypertension (HTN) is common in patients with a history of coarctation of the aorta (CoA) and remains underrecognized and undertreated. Studies in the non-coarctation otherwise healthy adult population have correlated an exaggerated blood pressure response during mild to moderate exercise with subsequent diagnosis of HTN. The goal of this study was to determine if blood pressure response to submaximal exercise in normotensive CoA patients correlated with development of HTN.Retrospective chart review was performed in individuals ≥ 13 years old with CoA and no diagnosis of HTN at time of cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET). Systolic blood pressure (SBP) during CPET at rest, submax 1 (stage 1 Bruce or minute 2 bicycle ramp), submax 2 (stage 2 Bruce or minute 4 bicycle ramp), and peak were recorded. The primary composite outcome was HTN diagnosis or initiation of anti-hypertensive medications at follow up.There were 177 patients (53% female, median age 18.5 years), of whom 38 patients (21%) met composite outcome during a median follow up of 46 months. Men were more likely to develop hypertension. Age at repair and age at CPET were not significant covariates. At each stage of CPET, SBP was significantly higher in those who met the composite outcome. Submax 2 SBP ≥ 145 mmHg was 75% sensitive, 71% specific in males and 67% sensitive, 76% specific in females for development of composite outcome.Our study shows an exaggerated SBP response to submaximal exercise may portend an increased risk of developing hypertension during short- to mid-term follow up.