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Cardiology. 1987;74(1):62-70.

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in clinical practice.


Cardiopulmonary exercise testing refers to the noninvasive measurement of respiratory gas exchange and air flow, together with heart rate, blood pressure, and the electrocardiogram. These data, obtained during an incremental exercise test, can be used to derive the aerobic capacity or VO2max, which is an objective measure of the severity of chronic cardiac and circulatory failure, as well as to predict the maximum cardiac output response to exercise. The additional monitoring of minute ventilation and arterial oxygen saturation can be used to distinguish ventilatory from cardiac or circulatory causes of exertional dyspnea. Finally, this information serves as an objective measure of functional capacity which can be monitored over time to assess the natural history of disease as well as its response to medical therapy.

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