Graphical Data Display for Clinical Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing.

Dumitrescu D, Rosenkranz S

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017 May 25. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201612-955FR. [Epub ahead
of print]

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing is a well-known, valuable tool in the clinical
evaluation of patients with different causes of exercise limitation, and
unexplained dyspnea. A wealth of data is generated by each individual test. This
may be challenging with regard to a comprehensive and reliable interpretation of
an exercise study in a timely manner. An optimized graphical display of exercise
data may substantially help to improve the efficacy and reliability of the
interpretation process. However, there are limited and heterogeneous
recommendations on standardized graphical display in current exercise testing
guidelines. To date, a widely used three-by-three array of specifically arranged
graphical panels known as “Nine Panel Plot” is probably the most common method of
plotting exercise gas exchange data in a standardized way. Furthermore, optimized
scaling of the plots, the use of colours and style elements as well as suitable
averaging methods have to be considered in order to achieve a high level of
quality and reproducibility of the results. Specific plots of key parameters may
allow a fast and reliable visual determination of important diagnostic and
prognostic markers in cardiac and pulmonary diseases.