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Standards for the use of cardiopulmonary exercise testing for the functional evaluation of cardiac patients

Report from the EACPR Exercise Physiology Section

The mission of the EACPR Exercise Physiology Section is "to promote and facilitate education and research related to exercise physiology and the role of physical exercise in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of cardiovascular diseases". This paper contributes to this goal by emphasizing the opportunities that cardiopulmonary exercise testing offers for the functional evaluation of cardiac patients in both the clinical and research settings. 

Prof. Alessandro Mezzani, Chairperson

Rehabilitation


Abstract

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is a methodology that has profoundly affected the approach to patients' functional evaluation, linking performance and physiological parameters to the underlying metabolic substratum and providing highly reproducible exercise capacity descriptors. This study provides professionals with an up-to-date review of the rationale sustaining the use of CPET for functional evaluation of cardiac patients in both the clinical and research settings, describing parameters obtainable either from ramp incremental or step constant-power CPET and illustrating the wealth of information obtainable through an experienced use of this powerful tool. The choice of parameters to be measured will depend on the specific goals of functional evaluation in the individual patient, namely, exercise tolerance assessment, training prescription, treatment efficacy evaluation, and/or investigation of exercise-induced adaptations of the oxygen transport/utilization system. The full potentialities of CPET in the clinical and research setting still remain largely underused and strong efforts are recommended to promote a more widespread use of CPET in the functional evaluation of cardiac patients.

Full Text

Standards for the use of cardiopulmonary exercise testing for the functional evaluation of cardiac patients 
a report from the Exercise Physiology Section of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
Mezzani, Alessandro; Agostoni, Piergiuseppe; Cohen-Solal, Alain; Corrà, Ugo; Jegier, Anna; Kouidi, Evangelia; Mazic, Sanja; Meurin, Philippe; Piepoli, Massimo; Simon, Attila; Van Laethem, Christophe; Vanhees, Luc
Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2009;16:249-267.