Exercise Pulmonary Hypertension Predicts Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Dyspnea on Effort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Harvard University


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatusPublished - Jan 7 2020


Background: Abnormal pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) responses to exercise have been described in select individuals; however, clinical and prognostic implications of exercise pulmonary hypertension (exPH) among broader samples remains unclear. Objectives: This study sought to investigate the association of exPH with clinical determinants and outcomes. Methods: The authors studied individuals with chronic exertional dyspnea and preserved ejection fraction who underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing with invasive hemodynamic monitoring. Exercise pulmonary hypertension was ascertained using minute-by-minute PAP and cardiac output (CO) measurements to calculate a PAP/CO slope, and exPH defined as a PAP/CO slope >3 mm Hg/l/min. The primary outcome was cardiovascular (CV) hospitalization or all-cause mortality. Results: Among 714 individuals (age 57 years, 59% women), 296 (41%) had abnormal PAP/CO slopes. Over a mean follow-up of 3.7 ± 2.9 years, there were 208 CV or death events. Individuals with abnormal PAP/CO slope had a 2-fold increased hazard of future CV or death event (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio: 2.03; 95% confidence interval: 1.48 to 2.78; p < 0.001). The association of abnormal PAP/CO slope with outcomes remained significant after excluding rest PH (n = 146, hazard ratio: 1.75; 95% confidence interval: 1.21 to 2.54; p = 0.003). Both pre- and post-capillary contributions to exPH independently predicted adverse events (p < 0.001 for both). Conclusions: Exercise pulmonary hypertension is independently associated with CV event-free survival among individuals undergoing evaluation of chronic dyspnea. These findings suggest incremental value of exercise hemodynamic assessment to resting measurements alone in characterizing the burden of PH in individuals with dyspnea. Whether PH and PH subtypes unmasked by exercise can be used to guide targeted therapeutic interventions requires further investigation.

    Research areas

  • cardiovascular disease, exercise, pulmonary hypertension

Citation formats


Ho, J. E., Zern, E. K., Lau, E. S., Wooster, L., Bailey, C. S., Cunningham, T., ... Lewis, G. D. (2020). Exercise Pulmonary Hypertension Predicts Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Dyspnea on Effort. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 75(1), 17-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.10.048


Ho, JE, Zern, EK, Lau, ES, Wooster, L, Bailey, CS, Cunningham, T, Eisman, AS, Hardin, KM, Farrell, R, Sbarbaro, JA, Schoenike, MW, Houstis, NE, Baggish, AL, Shah, RV, Nayor, M, Malhotra, R & Lewis, GD 2020, 'Exercise Pulmonary Hypertension Predicts Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Dyspnea on Effort', Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 75, no. 1, pp. 17-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.10.048