Cardiac power output is a direct measure of overall cardiac function that integrates both flow- and pressure-generating capacities of the heart. The present study assessed the reproducibility of cardiac power output and other more commonly reported cardiopulmonary exercise variables in patients with chronic heart failure. Metabolic, ventilatory and non-invasive (inert gas re-breathing) central haemodynamic measurements were undertaken at rest and near-maximal exercise of the modified Bruce protocol in 19 patients with stable chronic heart failure. The same procedure was repeated 7 days later to assess reproducibility. Cardiac power output was calculated as the product of cardiac output and mean arterial pressure. Resting central haemodynamic variables demonstrate low CV (coefficient of variation) (ranging from 3.4% for cardiac output and 5.6% for heart rate). The CV for resting metabolic and ventilatory measurements ranged from 8.2% for respiratory exchange ratio and 14.2% for absolute values of oxygen consumption. The CV of anaerobic threshold, peak oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and respiratory exchange ratio ranged from 3.8% (for anaerobic threshold) to 6.4% (for relative peak oxygen consumption), with minute ventilation having a CV of 11.1%. Near-maximal exercise cardiac power output and cardiac output had CVs of 4.1 and 2.2%, respectively. Cardiac power output demonstrates good reproducibility suggesting that there is no need for performing more than one cardiopulmonary exercise test. As a direct measure of cardiac function (dysfunction) and an excellent prognostic marker, it is strongly advised in the assessment of patients with chronic heart failure undergoing cardiopulmonary exercise testing.
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- cardiac function
- cardiac power output
- exercise testing
- heart failure