Exercise Testing in Patients after Valve Surgery

Valve surgery usually leads to a marked improvement in symptoms as evidenced by a decrease in the NYHA class and an increase in exercise tolerance. The degree of improvement depends on the preoperative symptom status, degree of left ventricular impairment, presence of pulmonary hypertension, and the type of valve disease present.

In patients who are asymptomatic prior to surgery a documentation of improvement is frequently only possible by comparing the pre- and postoperative exercise tolerance. Thus with exercise testing postoperatively improvements in exercise parameters can be evaluated. At present, only 7.4% of patients after valve surgery patients undergo exercise testing in representative hospitals in Europe.6

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