Noninvasive measurement of cardiac output during exercise in children with tetralogy of fallot

Elisa Marcuccio, Gaurav Arora, Eric Quivers, Mary Kay Yurchak, Francis McCaffrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In patients with surgically repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), reported peak oxygen consumption (VO2) is decreased compared with control subjects. The measurement of exercise cardiac output (CO) could be a useful adjunct for assessing cardiovascular fitness. There are few data assessing noninvasive CO, cardiac index (CI), and stroke volume (SV) during exercise for these patients. This study sought to measure noninvasive CI and SV during rest and exercise in children with repaired TOF. The authors compared 21 asymptomatic children with repaired TOF ages 11-17 years during rest and exercise and 42 genderand age-matched healthy control children without structural heart disease. Using a Bruce exercise protocol, exercise data were measured noninvasively by a novel inert gas rebreathing technique including peak duration and heart rate, as well as VO2, CO, CI, and SV measured at 90 % of peak predicted theoretical heart rate (90 % ppHR). Statistical correlation between peak VO2 and CI was performed. At baseline, there was no statistically significant difference in any of the measures between the groups. At 90 % ppHR, there was an increase in CI during exercise of 140 % in the TOF children and 180 % in the control children. During exercise, SV changed minimally in the patient group, whereas it increased more than 30 % in the control children. At 90 % ppHR, the patient group showed an increase in VO2 during exercise similar to that of their healthy peers. The patients had a significantly shorter peak exercise duration than normal control subjects. The patients had a lower CI during exercise because they were less able to increase SV. Therefore, at similar heart rates, patients who have had TOF repair must rely on increased peripheral muscle extraction, with a higher arteriovenous oxygen difference (SaO2 MvOduring exercise, which may limit peak exercise capacity. In this cohort of TOF patients, noninvasive CI measurement was feasible, and correlation with VO2 was good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1170
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


  • Cardiac output
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Exercise
  • Tetralogy of Fallot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Noninvasive measurement of cardiac output during exercise in children with tetralogy of fallot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this