Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing
A cardiopulmonary exercise test is a specialized form of stress testing done to assess the response of your heart and lungs to exercise. The test is done on a treadmill. Your heart (EKG), blood pressure, oxygen level and breathing will be monitored while you walk on the treadmill. You will breathe through a mouthpiece during your test. A pulmonary physician is always present in the office when testing takes place in the unlikely event you should experience any difficulties during your testing. As with any type of exercise, there is a remote possibility of serious medical problems related to changes in blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, fainting, etc. The length of the test is tailored to each patient. The treadmill starts at a very slow speed. Depending on your ability, the speed and grade (steepness) of the treadmill will be gradually increased. You will be asked to walk as long as you can, but can stop at any time you experience symptoms that make it impossible for you to continue. You will be monitored for a few minutes after you stop walking on the treadmill. Your doctor will review the test results with you at your next visit.
- Take all medications as prescribed.
- Eat light meals on the day of testing.
- No caffeine on the day of the test.
- Preferably, no smoking on the day of the test. Definitely, no smoking for at least 4 hours prior to testing.
- Preferably, no alcohol for 24 hours prior to testing. Definitely, no alcohol for at least 4 hours prior to testing.
- Wear clothes that are comfortable to exercise in. Women, please wear a loose fitting, lightweight, short sleeve shirt so we can easily attach the EKG monitor while maintaining modesty.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes, preferably sneakers.
- Space in the lab is limited. Friends or relatives accompanying you will be asked to remain in the waiting room.
- There are times you provider will request you withhold some additional medications for a prolonged perios of time prior to this test. Consult the instructions you were given at the time the test was scheduled to see if there are any medications that you need to hold on taking.
If you have any questions about the test or the instructions, please call the office (610) 685-5864, and ask to talk to someone in the pulmonary function lab.