Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Scardovi A., De Maria R., Ferraironi A., Gatto L., Celestini A., Forte S., Parolini M., Sciarretta S., Ricci R., Guazzi M. A case for assessment of oscillatory breathing during cardiopulmonary exercise test in risk stratification of elderly patients with chronic heart failure. In: International Journal of Cardiology, vol. XX pp. X - Y. Elsevier, 2011.
The prognostic value of exercise oscillatory breathing (EOB) during cardiopulmonary test (CPX) has been described in young chronic heart failure (HF) patients. We assessed the prognostic role of EOB vs other clinical and ventilatory parameters in elderly HF patients performing a maximal CPX. Methods and results: We prospectively followed-up 370 HF outpatients ≥65 years after a symptom limited CPX. We tested the predictive value of clinical and ventilatory parameters for all-cause mortality and a composite of all-cause mortality and HF hospitalizations. Median age was 74 years, 51% had ischemic heart disease, 25% NYHA class III; ejection fraction was 41% [34-50]. Peak oxygen consumption (PVO2) was 11.9 [9.9-14] mL/kg/min, the slope of the regression line relating ventilation to CO2 output, (VE/VCO2 slope) was 33.9 [29.8-39.2]. EOB was found in 58% of patients. At follow-up, 84 patients died and overall 158, using a time-to-first event approach, met the composite end-point. Independent predictors of all-cause mortality were CPX EOB and the ratio of VE/VCO2 slope to peak VO2, hemoglobin, creatinine and body mass index. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) of the Cox multivariable model was 0.80 (95% CI 0.73 to 0.87). Independent predictors of the composite end-point were EOB, VE/VCO2 slope, hemoglobin and HF admissions in the previous year (Model AUC 0.75) (95% CI 0.69 to 0.81). Conclusions: Among elderly HF patients, EOB prevalence is higher than middle-aged cohorts. EOB and the ratio of VE/VCO2 slope to peak VO2 resulted the strongest ventilatory predictor of all-cause mortality, independent of ventricular function.
Subject Elderly
Heart failure
Cardiopulmonary exercise test
Ventilatory inefficiency

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