BACKGROUNDS. Purpose of the study was to evaluate beta-endorphin plasma levels at rest and after exercise, and the beta-endorphin release, in relation to exercise capacity, in patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure. METHODS. Beta-endorphin plasma levels were assayed by radio-immunoassay before and after cardiopulmonary exercise testing in 28 heart failure patients with radionuclide ejection fraction <35%, left ventricular end-dyastolic dimension > 60 mm and heart failure, and in 9 age-matched normal subjects. According to Weber's classification, 10 patients were in class A, 9 in class B, and 9 in class C. RESULTS. Beta-endorphin plasma levels at rest were respectively 3.52 +/- 2.31 pmol/L in patients, and 1.77 +/- 0.84 pmol/L (p <0.05) in normals. In patients, baseline beta-endorphin correlated to VO2max (r = -0.76), peak rate-pressure product (r = -0.60) and exercise time (r = -0.56), then progressively increasing from class A to C. After exercise, beta-endorphin plasma levels increased respectively to 6.42 +/- 3.44 pmol/L (p <0.001 vs baseline) in patients, and to 5.46 +/- 2.14 pmol/L (p <0.001 vs baseline and NS vs patients) in normals. In patients, the release during exercise of beta-endorphin (exercise - baseline/baseline x 100) correlated to VO2max (r = 0.82), peak rate-pressure product (r = 0.64) and exercise time (r = 0.55), then progressively decreasing from class A to C. At multivariate analysis beta-endorphin release showed the greater correlation to exercise capacity parameters. CONCLUSIONS. In heart failure patients, beta-endorphin plasma levels are elevated at rest and its release during exercise is reduced in relation to functional impairment.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine