Changes in Total Cardiac Output and Oxygen Extraction During Exercise in Patients Supported With an HVAD Left Ventricular Assist Device

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Following implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), acceptable functional performance is now being achieved; however, peak VO2 and peak work load (watts) remain considerably limited. Maximum physical capacity is essentially dependent on generated cardiac output (CO) and arteriovenous oxygen difference (avDO2 ). We investigated the changes in CO and avDO2 during exercise in LVAD patients with an HVAD pump (HeartWare Inc., Framingham, MA, USA). Approximately 6 weeks after implantation, 20 patients (100% male, 60.8 ± 7.3 years old, BMI 25.7 ± 3.3) underwent a six-minute walk test (6MWT), a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET), and noninvasive hemodynamic measurement. The mean six-minute walking distance (6MWD) was 403 m (68% of predicted), and mean peak VO2 was 10.9 mL/kg/min (39% of predicted). Mean total CO improved from 3.8 L at rest to 7.0 L at maximum exercise. The mean avDO2 increased from 7.4 mL/dL (44% of oxygen content) at rest to 13.2 mL/dL (75% of oxygen content) at maximum exercise. There was a significant increase in both total CO (P < 0.01) and avDO2 (P < 0.05) between rest and sub-maximum exercise. As exercise levels increased, however, no further significant changes were achieved. Long-term studies, especially in combination with exercise programs, would be desirable in order to observe the development of these parameters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArtificial organs
Volume42
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)686-694
Number of pages9
ISSN0160-564X
Publication statusPublished - 07.2018

ID: 3632394

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