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Cardiopulmonary exercise testing: an overview

McGregor, Gordon; Ingle, Lee


Gordon McGregor


A cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPEX or CPET) is an exercise tolerance test which combines the standard measures of electrocardiography (ECG) and blood pressure with ventilatory gas exchange data. Despite having been available for many years, CPEX has not been widely adopted in clinical practice. In addition to the limited availability of CPEX equipment and the personnel skilled in its application, the ambivalence surrounding CPEX most likely reflects a lack of awareness relating to the utility of this test in a health-care setting. When conducted appropriately, CPEX represents a powerful diagnostic and prognostic tool across a range of cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic diseases. Simple and cost effective to perform, CPEX may offer a viable alternative to the completion of multiple invasive investigations in the assessment of exercise intolerance. This article provides a background to the current and future utility of CPEX by reviewing the basic exercise physiology which underpins the translation of ventilatory gas exchange data into meaningful clinical information.


McGregor, G., & Ingle, L. (2014). Cardiopulmonary exercise testing: an overview. British journal of cardiac nursing, 9(11), 541-543.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2014
Publication Date Nov 2, 2014
Deposit Date Dec 18, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal British journal of cardiac nursing
Print ISSN 1749-6403
Electronic ISSN 2052-2207
Publisher MA Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 11
Pages 541-543
Keywords Cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPEX), Exercise physiology, Gas exchange
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an author accepted manuscript of an article published in British Journal of Cardiac Nursing 2014, v.9 issue 11.