Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Following Open Repair for a Proximal Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm or Dissection

J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2020 Mar;40(2):108-115. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000446.


Purpose: There are limited data on cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), following open repair for a proximal thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection. The aim was to evaluate serious adverse events, abnormal CPX event rate, CRF (peak oxygen uptake, (Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak), and blood pressure.

Methods: Patients were retrospectively identified from cardiac rehabilitation participation or prospectively enrolled in a research study and grouped by phenotype: (1) bicuspid aortic valve/thoracic aortic aneurysm, (2) tricuspid aortic valve/thoracic aortic aneurysm, and (3) acute type A aortic dissection.

Results: Patients (n = 128) completed a CPX a median of 2.9 mo (interquartile range: 1.8, 3.5) following repair. No serious adverse events were reported, although 3 abnormal exercise tests (2% event rate) were observed. Eighty-one percent of CPX studies were considered peak effort (defined as respiratory exchange ratio of ≥1.05). Median measured (Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak was <36% predicted normative values (19.2 mL·kgmin vs 29.3 mLkgmin, P < .0001); the most marked impairment in (Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak was observed in the acute type A aortic dissection group (<40% normative values), which was significantly different from other groups (P < .05). Peak exercise systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 160 mm Hg (144, 172) and 70 mm Hg (62, 80), with no differences noted between groups.

Conclusions: We observed no serious adverse events with an abnormal CPX event rate of only 2% 3 mo following repair for a proximal thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection. (Equation is included in full-text article.)O2peak was reduced among all patient groups, especially the acute type A aortic dissection group, which may be clinically significant, given the well-established prognostic importance of reduced cardiorespiratory fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery*
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness*
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Exercise Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome