Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing: What Is its Value?

Guazzi M; Bandera F; Ozemek C; Systrom D; Arena R

Journal Of The American College Of Cardiology [J Am Coll Cardiol], ISSN: 1558-3597, 2017 Sep 26; Vol. 70 (13), pp. 1618-1636;

Compared with traditional exercise tests, cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) provides a thorough assessment of exercise integrative physiology involving the pulmonary, cardiovascular, muscular, and cellular oxidative systems. Due to the prognostic ability of key variables, CPET applications in cardiology have grown impressively to include all forms of exercise intolerance, with a predominant focus on heart failure with reduced or with preserved ejection fraction. As impaired cardiac output and peripheral oxygen diffusion are the main determinants of the abnormal functional response in cardiac patients, invasive CPET has gained new popularity, especially for diagnosing early heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension. The most impactful advance has recently come from the introduction of CPET combined with echocardiography or CPET imaging, which provides basic information regarding cardiac and valve morphology and function. This review highlights modern CPET use as a single or combined test that allows the pathophysiological bases of exercise limitation to be translated, quite easily, into clinical practice.