Impact of Integrative Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (28)
On the basis of this study and studies reviewed above, it is likely that an integrative cardiopulmonary exercise test would be very useful in the evaluation of dyspnea or exercise intolerance of unknown etiology. This evaluation could save the expense of unneeded tests and a prolonged diagnostic workup if performed early in the patients evaluation.
(2) To Provide an Objective Estimate of Exercise Capacity and Impairment
The sometimes limited ability of resting measurements of lung, heart, and vascular function to predict exercise capacity has been emphasized. The integrated cardiopulmonary exercise test may be especially useful when there is a difference between symptoms resulting in exercise limitation and estimated capacity of the cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms, or when features of both heart and lung disease may be present. Of course, the patient or subject must make an effort during exercise to allow proper evaluation; however, gas exchange measurements and heart rate may provide evidence of the adequacy of subject effort.
(3) To Evaluate Therapy
Integrative cardiopulmonary exercise testing provides objective assessment of cardiopulmonary function under controlled stress. It is sufficiently reproducible to discern differences due to therapeutic interventions. Thus, exercise testing may be useful to assess effectiveness of drug therapy, exercise training as part of rehabilitation from lung or heart disease, or use of 02 breathing to reduce dyspnea and improve exercise tolerance.