Methods and Results: One hundred and sixty-nine healthy subjects (age 44 ± 13 years, M/F: 96/73) free of cardiovascular disease were recruited in a prospective study (NCT03217240) and underwent CMR, including 2D PC at an orthogonal plane just above the sinotubular junction, and CPET (cycle ergometer) within one week. The following AO flow parameters were derived: AO forward and backward flow indexed to body surface area (FFi, BFi), average flow displacement during systole (FDsavg), late systole (FDlsavg), diastole (FDdavg), systolic retrograde flow (SRF), systolic flow reversal ratio (sFRR), and pulse wave velocity (PWV). Exercise capacity was assessed by peak oxygen uptake (PVO2) from CPET. The mean values of FDsavg, FDlsavg, FDdavg, SRF, sFRR, and PWV were 17 ± 6%, 19 ± 8%, 29 ± 7%, 4.4 ± 4.2 mL, 5.9 ± 5.1%, and 4.3 ± 1.6 m/s, respectively. They all increased with age (r = 0.623, 0.628, 0.353, 0.590, 0.649, 0.598, all P < 0.0001), and decreased with PVO2 (r = −0.302, −0.270, −0.253, −0.149, −0.219, −0.161, all P < 0.05). A stepwise multivariable linear regression analysis using left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), FFi, and FDsavg showed an area under the curve of 0.769 in differentiating healthy subjects with high-risk exercise capacity (PVO2 ≤ 14 mL/kg/min).
Conclusion: AO flow haemodynamics change with aging and predict exercise capacity.
- 2D phase-contrast
- Aortic flow
- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
- Flow displacement