Results of exercise stress testing in patients with diffuse pulmonary arteriovenous malformations

Joshua Murphy, Paola Pierucci, Deborah Chyun, Katharine J. Henderson, Jeffrey Pollak, Robert I. White, John Fahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with diffuse pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) are subject to frequent complications and need to be followed closely. As part of this followup, we have employed exercise stress testing (EST) as an aid to assess their status. Twenty patients from a cohort of 35 with diffuse PAVMs have undergone EST using a standard cycle ergometer test. All patients had previously undergone pulmonary angiography, noncontrast chest computed tomography (CT), and repair of large focal PAVMs, prior to EST. Mean room air oxygen saturation at baseline and at maximum exercise (85% of maximum heart rate) were tabulated. Serial studies in six children and young adults were plotted by year and compared using the patient as their own control. Fourteen females and six males ranging in age from 4 to 50 years (mean 22 years) were studied. Baseline mean oxygen saturation was 84% and fell to 73% at maximum exercise. There was no significant difference between those with unilateral and bilateral involvement (P = 0.09). In four of the six patients with serial EST, the baseline and exercise oxygen saturations were quite stable. In the two patients who became symptomatic, with age, growth, and more activity, complete embolization of one or more segments of the lung improved their EST and functionality. Based on our previous work in patients with diffuse PAVMs, EST appears to offer a relatively safe and noninvasive method for assessing these patients. Our limited experience with serial EST suggests a good correlation with decreased functionality in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-984
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Brain abscess
  • Exercise stress testing
  • Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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