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01.12.2019 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Cardiovascular Ultrasound 1/2019

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing and echocardiographic exam: an useful interaction

Cardiovascular Ultrasound > Ausgabe 1/2019
Ciro Santoro, Regina Sorrentino, Roberta Esposito, Maria Lembo, Valentina Capone, Francesco Rozza, Massimo Romano, Bruno Trimarco, Maurizio Galderisi
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Cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) is a functional assessment that helps to detect disorders affecting the system involved in oxygen transport and utilization through the analysis of the gas exchange during exercise. The clinical application of CPET is various, it including training prescription, evaluation of treatment efficacy and outcome prediction in a broad spectrum of conditions. Furthermore, in patients with shortness of breath it provides pivotal information to bring out an accurate differential diagnosis between physical deconditioning, cardiopulmonary disease and muscular diseases. Modern software allows the breath-by-breath analysis of the volume of oxygen intake (VO2), volume of carbon dioxide output (VCO2) and expired air (VE). Through this analysis, CPET provides a series of additional parameters (peak VO2, ventilatory threshold, VE/VCO2 slope, end-tidal carbon dioxide exhaled) that characterize different patterns, helping in diagnosis process. Limitations to the routine use of CPET are mainly represented from the lack of measurement standardization and limited data from randomized multicentric studies. The integration of CPET with exercise stress echocardiography has been recently introduced in the clinical practice by integrating the diagnostic power offered by both the tools. This combined approach has been demonstrated to be valuable for diagnosing several cardiac diseases, including heart failure with preserved or reduced ejection fraction, cardiomyopathies, pulmonary arterial hypertension, valvular heart disease and coronary artery disease. Future investigations are needed to further promote this intriguing combination in the clinical and research setting.
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