Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) is the most prevalent form of heart failure in outpatients. Yet, the pathophysiology of this syndrome is unclear and pharmacological treatment does not improve prognosis. Because breathlessness during activities of daily living is the most frequent complaint of patients with HFPEF, we hypothesised that lung function may be often abnormal in these patients due to either a direct effect of HFPEF and/or shared risk factors. In this study we explore the frequency, type and severity of lung function abnormalities in HFPEF.
We measured forced spirometry, static lung volumes, pulmonary diffusing capacity (DLCO) and arterial blood gases in 69 outpatients with newly diagnosed symptomatic HFPEF.
We found that 94% of the patients showed abnormalities in at least one of the lung function measurements obtained: spirometry was abnormal in 59%, DLCO in 83% and arterial hypoxaemia was present in 62%. Their severity varied between patients, they were more prevalent in patients with NYHA functional class III/IV, and most often they were undiagnosed and untreated.
Lung function abnormalities are very frequent in HFPEF patients. A greater awareness among clinicians may contribute to improve their management and health status.
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Published online: September 10, 2013
Accepted: August 5, 2013
Received in revised form: June 12, 2013
Received: April 4, 2013
© 2013 Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.