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Cardiac Response and N-Terminal-Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide Kinetics During Exercise in Patients With COPD

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BACKGROUND: COPD increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. Dyspnea on exertion can be associated with COPD or heart failure or both. N-terminal-pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) is a marker of cardiac dysfunction, and exercise testing can identify subtle heart abnormalities. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether cardiac dysfunction adds to the mechanism of dyspnea caused primarily by impaired lung function in patients with mild to moderate COPD. METHODS: With 19 COPD patients and 10 healthy control subjects we measured physiologic variables and collected venous blood samples before and during incremental and constant-work-rate exercise, and measured NT-pro-BNP. RESULTS: Peak oxygen uptake and constant-work exercise time were significantly lower in the COPD group than in the control group (16 ± 4 mL/min/kg vs 19 ± 6 mL/min/kg, P = .04, and 7.8 ± 6.5 min vs 14.8 ± 7.3 min, P = .02). Between the groups there were no significant differences in anaerobic threshold, oxygen pulse (oxygen uptake divided by heart rate), or heart-rate reserve (difference between predicted and measured maximum heart rate). Both at rest and during constant-work exercise, NT-pro-BNP was not significantly higher in the COPD group than in the control group. In the COPD patients there was no significant correlation between constant-work exercise time and NT-pro-BNP at rest or during exercise. CONCLUSIONS: Heart failure did not contribute to exercise intolerance in patients with mild to moderate COPD.

Keywords: Brain natriuretic peptide; COPD; N-terminal-pro-BNP; cardiac; cardiac response; chronic; disease; dyspnea; exercise; exertion; heart failure; obstructive; pulmonary

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.00935

Affiliations: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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