Sequential cardiopulmonary exercise tests in patients post COVID-19

Introduction: Following Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), patients (pat.) often present with ongoing symptoms like chronic fatigue and persistent subjective deterioration of exercise capacity (EC) after viral elimination.Objectives: We performed sequential cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) to objectify the reduced EC after COVID-19 and evaluate for pathologic limitations.Methods: At first presentation after COVID-19, 30 pat. with subjective limitation of EC performed CPET at our outpatient clinic. If objectively limited, we offered follow-up CPET. 16 pat. agreed to perform follow-up CPET.Results: We included 18 male and 12 female pat., aged 52[±14] yrs at COVID-19. Time from COVID-19 to first CPET was 129[±57] days. Limited relative EC (<100% of nominal value) was detected in 11/30 (37%). Limitation correlated with reduced relative O2 uptake (VO2/kgmax) (75%[±7] vs 104%[±15], p<0.001). Reduced relative VO2/kgmax was found in 18/30 (60%). Pat. with reduced EC widely presented an impaired maximum O2 pulse (76%[±6] vs 107%[±14], p<0.001). Abnormal gas exchange was absent in limited EC pat. Moreover, no pat. showed signs of reduced pulmonary perfusion. Cardiac MRI ruled out diminished biventricular ejection fraction in 16 pat. as possible cause for reduced O2 pulse. Of note, follow-up CPET did not reveal any exercise improvements.Measurements and Main Results: Deterioration of EC was not associated with ventilatory, pul...
Source: European Respiratory Journal - Category: Respiratory Medicine Authors: Tags: Clinical respiratory physiology, exercise and functional imaging Source Type: research