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Volume 32, Nº 1, January and February 2019


DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.5935/ijcs.2359-4802.20180073


Hemodynamic, Metabolic and Ventilatory Responses to Exercise in Adults with Congenital Heart Disease

Pablo Marino Corrêa Nascimento

Daniel Arkader Kopiler

Fernando Cesar de Castro e Souza

Maria Carolina Terra Cola

Marina Pereira Coelho

Gabriella de Oliveira Lopes

Eduardo Tibiriçá


Background: Congenital heart disease in adults shares some features with heart failure (HF), including exercise intolerance, ventilatory inefficiency, inflammatory and neurohormonal activation, cardiac arrhythmias and myocardial fibrosis. Over the last years, cardiopulmonary exercise test has gained importance in the diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of congenital heart diseases, as has already occurred in HF.

Objective: To describe the behavior of hemodynamic, metabolic and ventilatory parameters in response to exercise in adults with congenital heart disease.

Methods: Observational cross-sectional study evaluating 31 adults with congenital acyanotic or cyanotic heart disease, treated clinically, surgically or percutaneously, referred for cardiopulmonary exercise test. A descriptive analysis of the data was performed.

Results: Patients aged 35.7 ± 14.2 years were included. Oxygen consumption (VO2) was 44.86 ± 18.01% of predicted at peak exercise and 36.92 ± 12.93% of predicted maximal VO2 at anaerobic threshold. We found an oxygen uptake efficiency slope (OUES) of 1.49 ± 0.89 (61.43 ± 26.63% of predicted), oxygen pulse of 58.90 ± 22.24% and incremente in systolic arterial pressure during exercise was 31.42 ± 21.60 mmHg.

Conclusion: Adults with congenital heart disease had similar responses to heart failure patients during exercise – reduced aerobic capacity, ventilatory inefficiency for oxygen consumption and limited inotropic response to exercise, characterized by reduced oxygen pulse and small increase in systolic arterial pressure. (Int J CardiovascSci. 2019;32(1)41-47)

Keywords: Heart Defects, Congenital; Exercise; Adults; Exercise Test; Cyanosis; Hemodynamics; Metabolism.