Clinical assessment is crucial to monitor chronic heart failure (HF) patients. It allows to tailor follow-up based on clinical severity, symptoms, quality of life and life expectancy. Risk scores, a useful tool for synthetic assessment of patients and intercenter standardization, should be easy to calculate and consider both cardiac conditions and comorbidities. In the elderly, clinical assessment should include indexes of disability and frailty, mandatory to tailor follow-up appropriately. Clinical data should be complemented by objective measures of functional capacity using exercise testing. Exercise tolerance, a comprehensive index of body function, is a pivotal prognostic predictor. The 6-min walking test is simple, well accepted by patients, and provides an objective documentation of exercise tolerance in subjects who cannot perform a maximal stress test. However, there is no evidence to support its role for risk stratification. While the cardiopulmonary exercise test has a definite role in the selection of heart transplant candidates, it also provides important information for risk stratification of the general HF population, the main prognostic predictors being maximal oxygen consumption, periodic breathing, and an enhanced ventilatory response to exercise.
|Translated title of the contribution||Role of clinical assessment and functional tests in the tailored follow-up for patients with chronic heart failure|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia|
|Issue number||5 SUPPL.2|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine