The development of cardiovascular disease during renal impairment involves striking multi-tiered, multi-dimensional complex alterations encompassing the entire oxygen transport system. Complex interactions between target organ systems involving alterations of the heart, vascular, musculoskeletal and respiratory systems occur in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and collectively contribute to impairment of cardiovascular function. These systemic changes have challenged our diagnostic and therapeutic efforts, particularly given that imaging cardiac structure at rest, rather than ascertainment under the stress of exercise, may not accurately reflect the risk of premature death in CKD. The multi-systemic nature of cardiovascular disease in CKD patients provides strong rationale for an integrated approach to the assessment of cardiovascular alterations in this population. State-of-the-art cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is a powerful, dynamic technology that enables the global assessment of cardiovascular functional alterations and reflects the integrative exercise response and complex machinery that form the oxygen transport system. CPET provides a wealth of data from a single assessment with mechanistic, physiological and prognostic utility. It is an underutilized technology in the care of patients with kidney disease with the potential to help advance the field of cardio-nephrology. This article reviews the integrative physiology and pathophysiology of cardio-renal impairment, critical new insights derived from CPET technology, and contemporary evidence for potential applications of CPET technology in patients with kidney disease.
- cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET)
- cardiovascular functional capacity
- chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- end-stage kidney disease (ESKD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)