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CPX testing

What is CPX testing? Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX) is a non-invasive and objective method of evaluating both cardiac and pulmonary function. CPX involves submaximal and maximal treadmill or bicycle exercise with continuous electrocardiographic monitoring and breath by breath determination of oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide output as well as spirometry. This allows determination of exercise capacity, peak heart rate, maximal oxygen consumption, anaerobic threshold, respiratory gas exchange ratio, and ventilatory equivalent for oxygen giving a very accurate assessment of possible cardiac failure, in a quantified fashion.

How is the CPX test carried out?

The patient is prepared for cardiopulmonary exercise testing by placement of 12 electrocardiographic leads to detect signs and symptoms of Heart Disease. You will then either walk or cycle on a treadmill or bicycle ergometer on a set protocol, which increases in speed and gradient, for about 10 - 15 minutes (depending on the individual). A pneumotach is attached by a mouth piece to the patient to monitor respiratory volume and is connected to a metabolic cart which preforms breath by breath determination of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. All testing is performed with physician supervision and the results are interpreted by a cardiologist with training in heart failure and exercise physiology.

How will this benefit me?

CPX testing is one of the most accurate non-invasive tests available for screening of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) - the narrowing of the coronary arteries. Following your CPX testing, you will be provided with a detailed and highly accurate report of the status of your cardiovascular system and will be used for the analysis of heart disease and/or cardiovascular fitness. These results should be used as a guide to awareness and are valid for 6 months. All reports will be fully explained so that you understand the results completely and can adjust your lifestyle or exercise routine accordingly.

Who is qualified to carry out the test?

There are a number of companies that are able to provide this type of testing, but most need you to go to them.

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