Metabolic-chronotropic relationship is the only concept that assesses the entire chronotropic function during exercise, as it takes into account individual fitness. To better understand interrelationships between chronotropic incompetence (CI), dynamic hyperinflation (DH) and exercise limitation among Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) disease severity, we evaluated cardiopulmonary responses to symptom-limited cycle exercise in stable patients.
We prospectively studied 47 COPD patients classified by GOLD stage severity. Pulmonary function tests and cardiopulmonary responses to symptom-limited incremental exercise were studied. CI was defined by regression line between percent heart rate (HR) reserve and percent oxygen uptake ( V’O 2) reserve, ie, chronotropic-metabolic index (CMI). DH was defined from the knot resulting from the nonlinear regressions of inspiratory capacity changes from rest to peak (dynamic inspiratory capacity (IC dyn)) with percentage of maximal HR and CMI.
Aerobic capacity (median interquartile ranges) peak V’O 2, 24.3 (23.6; 25.2), 18.5 (15.5; 21.8), 17.5 (15.4; 19.1) mL·kg −1·min −1 and CMI worsened according to GOLD severity. The optimal knot of IC dyn was equal to −0.34 L. The multivariate logistic regression showed a strong relationship between CI (outcome) and DH (odds ratio [confidence interval 95]) 25 (3.5; 191.6).