The cardiopulmonary exercise test in the prognostic evaluation of patients with heart failure and cardiomyopathies: the long history of making a one-size-fits-all suit

E. Salvioni, A. Bonomi, D. Magri, M. Merlo, B. Pezzuto, M. Chiesa, et al.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2023 Vol. 30 Issue Suppl 2 Pages ii28-ii33

Cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) has become pivotal in the functional evaluation of patients with chronic heart failure (HF), supplying a holistic evaluation both in terms of exercise impairment degree and possible underlying mechanisms. Conversely, there is growing interest in investigating possible multiparametric approaches in order to improve the overall HF risk stratification. In such a context, in 2013, a group of 13 Italian centres skilled in HF management and CPET analysis built the Metabolic Exercise test data combined with Cardiac and Kidney Indexes (MECKI) score, based on the dynamic assessment of HF patients and on some other instrumental and laboratory parameters. Subsequently, the MECKI score, initially developed on a cohort of 2716 HF patients, has been extensively validated as well as challenged with the other multiparametric scores, achieving optimal results. Meanwhile, the MECKI score research group has grown over time, involving up to now a total of 27 centres with an available database accounting for nearly 8000 HF patients. This exciting joint effort from multiple HF Italian centres allowed to investigate different HF research field in order to deepen the mechanisms underlying HF, to improve the ability to identify patients at the highest risk as well as to analyse particular HF categories. Most recently, some of the participants of the MECKI score group started to join the forces in investigating a possible additive role of CPET assessment in the cardiomyopathy setting too. The present study tells the ten-year history of the MECKI score presenting the most important results achieved as well as those projects in the pipeline, this exciting journey being far to be concluded.