Evaluation of dyspnea of unknown etiology in HIV patients with cardiopulmonary exercise testing and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging

Andrew J. Patterson, Anuja Sarode, Sadeer Al-Kindi, Lauren Shaver, Rahul Thomas, Evelyn Watson, Mohamad Amer Alaiti, Yuchi Liu, Jessie Hamilton, Nicole Seiberlich, Imran Rashid, Robert Gilkeson, Robert Schilz, Brian Hoit, Trevor Jenkins, Melissa Zullo, Eduardo Bossone, Christopher Longenecker, Orlando Simonetti, Sanjay Rajagopalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients commonly experience dyspnea for which an immediate cause may not be always apparent. In this prospective cohort study of HIV patients with exercise limitation, we use cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) coupled with exercise cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) to elucidate etiologies of dyspnea. Methods and results: Thirty-four HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy with dyspnea and exercise limitation (49.7 years, 65% male, mean absolute CD4 count 700) underwent comprehensive evaluation with combined rest and maximal exercise treadmill CMR and CPET. The overall mean oxygen consumption (VO2) peak was reduced at 23.2 ± 6.9 ml/kg/min with 20 patients (58.8% of overall cohort) achieving a respiratory exchange ratio > 1. The ventilatory efficiency (VE)/VCO2 slope was elevated at 36 ± 7.92, while ventilatory reserve (VE: Maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV)) was within normal limits. The mean absolute right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) contractile reserves were preserved at 9.0% ± 11.2 and 9.4% ± 9.4, respectively. The average resting and post-exercise mean average pulmonary artery velocities were 12.2 ± 3.9 cm/s and 18.9 ± 8.3 respectively, which suggested lack of exercise induced pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH). LV but not RV delayed enhancement were identified in five patients. Correlation analysis found no relationship between peak VO2 measures of contractile RV or LV reserve, but LV and RV stroke volume correlated with PET CO2 (p = 0.02, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Well treated patients with HIV appear to have conserved RV and LV function, contractile reserve and no evidence of exercise induced PAH. However, we found evidence of impaired ventilation suggesting a non-cardiopulmonary etiology for dyspnea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 12 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • CPET
  • Contractile Reserve
  • Exercise CMR
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Family Practice
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of dyspnea of unknown etiology in HIV patients with cardiopulmonary exercise testing and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this