Exercise Bike Test
What is a cardiopulmonary
Exercise Test is similar to standard exercise test other than it is performed
on a stationary bike and involves the use of mouth piece to measure oxygen uptake.
As well as diagnosing ischemia (reduced Oxygen to the heart muscle) and shortness
of breath it is a very useful test for determining the function of the heart and
is mostly used for patients with heart failure and cardiomyopathy.
is a cardiopulmonary exercise test performed?
with a standard exercise test small electrodes are first placed on the chest (ECG).
The mouthpiece is then attached and you will be asked to pedal on the bike at
a comfortable pace without any resistance applied. After the warm up a small amount
pedal resistance is added very gradually at regular intervals throughout the test
You will be asked to pedal for as long as possible and exercise will usually last
between 5 and 12 minutes.
Why is a cardiopulmonary
exercise test done?
exercise test is normally requested when a diagnosis of exercise limitation is
unclear or for heart failure/cardiomyopathy patients in order to determine their
I cope with the exercise required?
with a standard exercise test just about everyone can cope with a cardiopulmonary
exercise test. The bike makes the test easier than walking on a treadmill as it
is a non-weight bearing activity and only slight increases in resistance are added.
The exercise intensity is increased based on your capabilities and at any point
you would like to stop you may do so. You will be encouraged to do as much as
you can as the more you do the more information we get for your doctor.
there any risks involved?
In the vast
majority of cases the cardiopulmonary exercise test is carried out without any
problems and the risks are very similar to those of a standard exercise test.
Even when testing patients with a higher risk only 1 in 300 patients had a serious
complication in a recent study. Medical help is near to hand to deal with possible