Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing

Reasons for procedure

Detection of suspected cardiopulmonary disease and/or severity of disease

Reasons someone may be tested


An evaluation of the cardiopulmonary system

Possible Side Effects


"Physical exercise requires the interaction of the physiologic mechanisms that enable the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to support the energy demands of the contracting muscles.  Both systems are consequently stressed during exercise. Their ability to respond adequately to this stress is a measure of their physiologic competence."


  1. Attach ECG electrodes and blood pressure cuff
  2. If using a bicycle ergometer, adjust seat to proper height level and null bike
  3. Obtain baseline ECG, blood pressure, and VO2/VCO2 measurements
  4. Begin exercise period and record data
    • Patients are encouraged to exercise to their maximum endurance or until the nurse ends exercise due to symptoms like pain, HA, dizziness, syncope, excessive dyspnea, leg discomfort
  5. Recovery period: 5 minutes or greater until patient returns to baseline

Wassserman, Karlman: Principles of Exercise Testing and Interpretation.  Lea & Febinger Co 1994

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