BACKGROUND: Elevated left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) gradients during exercise can occur in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) as well as in athletes and normal controls. The authors' staged exercise protocol calls for imaging at rest and during each stage of exercise to evaluate the mechanism of LVOT obstruction at each stage. They investigated whether this staged approach helps differentiate HCM from athletes and normal controls. METHODS: They reviewed pediatric exercise stress echocardiograms completed between January 2009 and October 2017 at their center and identified those with gene-positive HCM, athlete's heart, and normal controls. Children with inducible obstruction (those with no LVOT gradient at rest who developed a LVOT peak gradient > 25 mm Hg during exercise) were included. LVOT peak gradient, velocity time integral, acceleration time, and deceleration time were measured at rest, submaximal stages, and peak exercise. RESULTS: Compared with athletes, HCM patients had significantly higher LVOT peak gradients at rest (P = .019), stage 1 of exercise (P = .002), and peak exercise (P = .051), as well as a significantly higher change in LVOT peak gradient from rest to stage 1 (P = .016) and from rest to peak (P = .038). The acceleration time/deceleration time ratio of the LVOT Doppler was significantly lower in HCM patients compared with normal controls at peak exercise. CONCLUSIONS: The HCM patients who develop elevated LVOT gradients at peak exercise typically manifest early obstruction in the submaximal stages of exercise, which helps to differentiate them from athletes and normal controls.
- athlete’s heart
- exercise stress echo
- left ventricular outflow tract obstruction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation