Background: Chronic heart failure carries a poor prognosis. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing is useful in predicting survival. We set out to establish the prognostic value of peak VO(2)and VE/VCO(2)slope across a range of threshold values.
Method and results: Three hundred and three consecutive patients with stable chronic heart failure underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing between 1992 and 1996. Their age was 59+/-11 years (mean+/-SD), peak VO(2)17. 8+/- 6.6 ml. kg(-1)min(-1), VE/VCO(2)slope 37+/-12. At the end of follow-up in January 1999, 91 patients had died (after a median of 7 months, interquartile range 3-16 months). The median follow-up for the survivors was 47 months (interquartile range 37-57 months). The areas under the receiver-operating characteristic curves for predicting mortality at 2 years were 0.77 for both peak VO(2)and VE/VCO(2)slope. With peak VO(2)and VE/VCO(2)slope viewed as continuous variables in the Cox proportional-hazards model, they were both highly significant prognostic indicators, both in univariate analysis and bivariate analysis (P<0.001 for VE/VCO(2)slope, P<0.003 for peak VO(2)).
Conclusions: Lower peak VO(2)implies poorer prognosis across a range of values from 10 to 20 ml. kg(-1)min(-1), without a unique threshold. Gradations of elevation of the VE/VCO(2)slope also carry prognostic information over a wide range (30-55). The two parameters are comparable in terms of prognostic power, and contribute complementary prognostic information.
Copyright 2000 The European Society of Cardiology.