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Cardiopulmonary exercise testing and its application
  1. K Albouaini,
  2. M Egred,
  3. A Alahmar,
  4. D J Wright
  1. Cardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool, UK
  1. Dr K Albouaini, Cardiothoracic Centre, Thomas Drive, Liverpool L14 3PE, UK; Albouaini{at}


Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) has become an important clinical tool to evaluate exercise capacity and predict outcome in patients with heart failure and other cardiac conditions. It provides assessment of the integrative exercise responses involving the pulmonary, cardiovascular and skeletal muscle systems, which are not adequately reflected through the measurement of individual organ system function. CPET is being used increasingly in a wide spectrum of clinical applications for evaluation of undiagnosed exercise intolerance and for objective determination of functional capacity and impairment. This review focuses on the exercise physiology and physiological basis for functional exercise testing and discusses the methodology, indications, contraindications and interpretation of CPET in normal people and in patients with heart failure.

  • exercise test
  • heart failure
  • cardiopulmonary exercise testing
  • exercise physiology
  • anaerobic threshold

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  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

  • Abbreviations:
    congestive heart failure
    cardiopulmonary exercise testing
    heart failure
    metabolic equivalent
    New York Heart Association
    peak Vo2
    respiratory exchange ratio
    respiratory quotient
    ventilatory anaerobic threshold