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Pediatr Cardiol. 2006 Jan-Feb;27(1):110-116. doi: 10.1007/s00246-005-1046-9.

Current practice of exercise stress testing among pediatric cardiology and pulmonology centers in the United States.

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Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA.


The objective of this study was to characterize current practice patterns for clinical exercise stress testing (EST) in children in the United States. We conducted a survey of 109 pediatric cardiology programs and 91 pediatric pulmonology programs at children's hospitals or university hospitals in the United States. A total of 115 programs from 88 hospitals responded (response rate, 58%). A higher percentage of cardiology programs (98.7%) have exercise laboratories compared with pulmonology programs (77.5%). Sixty-three percent of respondents have both a treadmill and a cycle ergometer. A larger proportion of respondents (76%) rely primarily or exclusively on treadmill, whereas a smaller number use cycle ergometer (24%). Sixty-seven percent of respondents reported that they include metabolic measurements in EST protocols. Respondents have varying minimum age criteria for EST, with 9% reporting < or = 4 years, 25% reporting 5 years, 31% reporting 6 years, 16% reporting 7 years, and 20% reporting > or =8 years. Programs using cycle ergometers tend to test children at a younger age and to measure metabolic parameters. Seventy-nine percent of respondents use Bruce and modified Bruce protocols. Institutional protocols are used by 14%. Ninety percent of respondents use technicians to perform EST and 8% use nurses, but 76% require physician presence during testing. The majority of respondents (57%) perform < 100 pediatric tests per year. There are wide variations in the current practice of EST among pediatric subspecialty programs in the United States. Treadmills are used more frequently than cycle ergometers, and Bruce and modified Bruce protocols are commonly used. Most survey respondents measure metabolic parameters during EST.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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