Making Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Interpretable for Clinicians.

Andonian BJ; Hardy N; Bendelac A; Polys N; Kraus WE;

Current sports medicine reports [Curr Sports Med Rep] 2021 Oct 01; Vol. 20 (10), pp. 545-552.

Abstract: Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is a dynamic clinical tool for determining the cause for a person’s exercise limitation. CPET provides clinicians with fundamental knowledge of the coupling of external to internal respiration (oxygen and carbon dioxide) during exercise. Subtle perturbations in CPET parameters can differentiate exercise responses among individual patients and disease states. However, perhaps because of the challenges in interpretation given the amount and complexity of data obtained, CPET is underused. In this article, we review fundamental concepts in CPET data interpretation and visualization. We also discuss future directions for how to best use CPET results to guide clinical care. Finally, we share a novel three-dimensional graphical platform for CPET data that simplifies conceptualization of organ system-specific (cardiac, pulmonary, and skeletal muscle) exercise limitations. Our goal is to make CPET testing more accessible to the general medical provider and make the test of greater use in the medical toolbox.