Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (MVO2)

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Overview

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (or MVO2 testing) can help to differentiate between cardiac, respiratory and a other origins of patient symptoms without resorting to invasive procedures. It is a popular procedure as comprehensively evaluating the degree of functional impairment in patients can difficult. With cardiopulmonary exercise testing functional capacity can be precisely measured, allowing for accurate assessment of the degree of impairment for individual patients. In addition to assessing functional impairment, MVO2 testing may be used to guide treatment, develop cardiac rehabilitation programmes, evaluate the improvement in functional capacity in response to specific treatment regimes and assess pre-operative risk for anaesthesia.

What happens during a Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test

The stress test is conducted in a closely supervised situation. You will be attached to the ECG recording monitor and fitted with a mask which will sample each breath you take. You will then sit on a bike or stand on a treadmill, which will begin to move very slowly. Progressively, as you become accustomed to the pace, the workload will be increased. All the time, the technicians will be monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure and looking carefully at the ECG for any changes. You will be asked to report any chest pain/tightness during the test. You will be encouraged to work as hard as possible towards the end of the test.

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing setup.

What happens after a Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test

You will be allowed to recover whilst we monitor the ECG and when your heart rate and blood pressure have returned to normal, the test is completed. Our specialist MVO2 consultant will provide a concise report based on his interpretations of these parameters as a whole. We adhere to all UK guidelines to ensure that all patients are safe for testing and we regularly assess patients who have a pre-existing orthopaedic problems.

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