The evolving role of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in ischemic heart disease – state of the art review.

Chaudhry S; Kumar N; Arena R; Verma S;

Current opinion in cardiology [Curr Opin Cardiol] 2023 Sep 08.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 Sep 08.

Purpose of Review: Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is the gold standard for directly assessing cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and has a relatively new and evolving role in evaluating atherosclerotic heart disease, particularly in detecting cardiac dysfunction caused by ischemic heart disease. The purpose of this review is to assess the current literature on the link between cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, cardiac dysfunction and CRF assessed by CPET.
Recent Findings: We summarize the basics of exercise physiology and the key determinants of CRF. Prognostically, several studies have been published relating directly measured CRF by CPET and outcomes allowing for more precise risk assessment. Diagnostically, this review describes in detail what is considered healthy and abnormal cardiac function assessed by CPET. New studies demonstrate that cardiac dysfunction on CPET is a common finding in asymptomatic individuals and is associated with CV risk factors and lower CRF. This review covers how key CPET parameters change as individuals transition from the asymptomatic to the symptomatic stage with progressively decreasing CRF. Finally, a supplement with case studies with long-term longitudinal data demonstrating how CPET can be used in daily clinical decision making is presented.
Summary: In summary, CPET is a powerful tool to provide individualized CV risk assessment, monitor the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions, and provide meaningful feedback to help patients guide their path to improve CRF when routinely used in the outpatient setting.