Effect of pulmonary endarterectomy for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension on stroke volume response to exercise

Sulaiman Surie, Mart N. van der Plas, J. Tim Marcus, Taco Kind, Jaap J. Kloek, Anton Vonk-Noordegraaf, Paul Bresser

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In pulmonary hypertension, exercise is limited by an impaired right ventricular (RV) stroke volume response. We hypothesized that improvement in exercise capacity after pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is paralleled by an improved RV stroke volume response. We studied the extent of PEA-induced restoration of RV stroke volume index (SVI) response to exercise using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI). Patients with CTEPH (n = 18) and 7 healthy volunteers were included. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing and cMRI were performed before and 1 year after PEA. For cMRI studies, pre- and post-operatively, all patients exercised at 40% of their preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing-assessed maximal workload. Post-PEA patients (n = 13) also exercised at 40% of their postoperative maximal workload. Control subjects exercised at 40% of their predicted maximal workload. Preoperatively, SVI (n = 18) decreased during exercise from 35.9 ± 7.4 to 33.0 ± 9.0 ml·m(2) (p = 0.023); in the control subjects, SVI increased (46.6 ± 7.6 vs 57.9 ± 11.8 ml·m(-2), p = 0.001). After PEA, the SVI response (ΔSVI) improved from -2.8 ± 4.6 to 4.0 ± 4.6 ml·m(2) (p <0.001; n = 17). On exercise at 40% of the postoperative maximal workload, SVI did not increase further and was still significantly lower compared with controls. Moreover, 4 patients retained a negative SVI response, despite (near) normalization of their pulmonary hemodynamics. The improvement in SVI response was accompanied by an increased exercise tolerance and restoration of RV remodeling. In conclusion, in CTEPH, exercise is limited by an impaired stroke volume response. PEA induces a restoration of SVI response to exercise that appears, however, incomplete and not evident in all patients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-140
JournalAmerican journal of cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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