If you are experiencing shortness of breath or are concerned about heart damage or lung disease, your doctor may order a cardiopulmonary test.
Cardiopulmonary testing (a stress test) helps your doctor measure how well your heart and lungs work during exercise. This is measured by the amount of oxygen your body is using. It’s a non-invasive test in which you ride a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill for up to an hour. If you are unable to exercise, your doctor can prescribe medication to simulate the effects of exercise.
There are different types of stress tests that you can take to diagnose heart and lung issues. These include:
- Cardiac ultrasound echocardiogram (Echo)
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- Pulmonary function testing
During your appointment, a technician will attach heart monitoring equipment to your chest using sticky patches that are connected to wires. We’ll also attach a blood pressure clip to your finger and provide a mouthpiece to help you breathe.
Exercise starts slowly and gradually increases during the test. Your blood pressure and your heart’s electrical activity will be monitored during the test and 15 to 20 minutes after you’ve stopped exercising.
We’ll review your results with our cardiology team and send them to your doctor. It usually takes a few days before you know the results of your test.