J Cardiol. 2017 Mar 7. pii: S0914-5087(16)30308-2. [Epub ahead of print]
Myocardial ischemia induces cardiac dysfunction, resulting in insufficient oxygen supply to peripheral tissues and mismatched energy production during exercise. To relieve the insufficient oxygen supply, heart rate (HR) response is augmented; however, beta-adrenergic receptor blockers (BB) restrict HR response. Although BB are essential drugs for angina pectoris, the effect of BB on exercise tolerance in patients with angina has not been studied. The aim of this study was to clarify the importance of HR augmentation to preserve exercise tolerance in patients with angina pectoris. METHODS: Forty-two subjects who underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX) to detect myocardial ischemia were enrolled. CPX was performed until exhaustion or onset of significant myocardial ischemia using a ramp protocol. Subjects were assigned to three groups (Group A: with ST depression during CPX with significant coronary stenosis and taking BB; Group B: with ST depression and not taking BB; Group C: without ST depression and not taking BB). HR response to exercise was evaluated during the following two periods: below and above ischemic threshold (IT). In Group C, it was evaluated during the first 2min and the last 2min of a ramp exercise. RESULTS: No significant differences were observed among the three groups with regard to patients’ basic characteristics. Below IT, there were no differences in oxygen pulse/watt (O2 pulse increasing rate), HR/watt (ΔHR/ΔWR), and ΔV˙O2/ΔWR. Above IT, O2 pulse increasing rate was greater in Group A than in Group B. ΔHR/ΔWR was smaller in Group A than in Group B. ΔV˙O2/ΔWR became smaller in Group A than in Group B. There was no difference in anaerobic threshold, and peak V˙O2 was smaller in Group A than in Group B.
CONCLUSIONS: Restriction of HR response by a BB is shown to be one of the important factors in diminished exercise tolerance.