The clinical value of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in the modern era.

Laveneziana P; Di Paolo M; Palange P;

European respiratory review : an official journal of the European Respiratory Society [Eur Respir Rev] 2021 Jan 06; Vol. 30 (159). Date of Electronic Publication: 2021 Jan 06 (Print Publication: 2021).

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) has long been used as diagnostic tool for cardiac diseases. During recent years CPET has been proven to be additionally useful for 1) distinguishing between normal and abnormal responses to exercise; 2) determining peak oxygen uptake and level of disability; 3) identifying factors contributing to dyspnoea and exercise limitation; 4) differentiating between ventilatory (respiratory mechanics and pulmonary gas exchange), cardiovascular, metabolic and peripheral muscle causes of exercise intolerance; 5) identifying anomalies of ventilatory (respiratory mechanics and pulmonary gas exchange), cardiovascular and metabolic systems, as well as peripheral muscle and psychological disorders; 6) screening for coexistent ischaemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and arterial hypoxaemia; 7) assisting in planning individualised exercise training; 8) generating prognostic information; and 9) objectively evaluating the impact of therapeutic interventions. As such, CPET is an essential part of patients’ clinical assessment. This article belongs to the special series on the “Ventilatory efficiency and its clinical prognostic value in cardiorespiratory disorders”, addressed to clinicians, physiologists and researchers, and aims at encouraging them to get acquainted with CPET in order to help and orient the clinical decision concerning individual patients.