• mixed venous oxygen saturation;
  • rate responsive pacemakers

FRENCH, W.J., ET AL.: Relationship Between Right Atrial and Mixed Venous Oxygen Saturation and Heart Rate During Exercise in Normal Subjects and Patients with Cardiac Disease. An ideal sensing variable for use in rate responsive pacemakers should measure a physiological parameter that closely correlates with heart rate during various activities in a diverse group of subjects. Nineteen patients, 12 normal and 7 patients with heart disease, were studied to assess the relationship between mixed venous oxygen saturation and heart rate. In patients with heart disease right atrial oxygen saturation and heart rate were also compared. Each subject underwent pulmonary artery catheterization and performed seated cycle ergometer exercise. Gas exchange and heart rate were measured continuously and blood sampled at frequent intervals. Normal patients were studied at rest and during steady-state exercise (mean work rate 149 watts). Patients were studied at rest, steady-state exercise [mean work rate 37 watts), and during incremental exercise (5–10 wattsimin) to tolerance. There were 248 paired right atrial or mixed venous oxygen saturation/heart rate observations obtained. Changes in mixed venous oxygen saturation and heart rate were not substantially altered by fitness or cardiac disease. Rate responsive pacemakers sensing changes in oxygen saturation may be a superior sensing variable for both normal and patients with heart disease.