Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET)

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) is often ordered by your doctor to learn how your lungs, heart and muscles react to exercise. To perform this test, you must be able to walk on a treadmill without difficulty. While you are walking on the treadmill, the most important things your doctor will look at include:

  • How much oxygen you need to perform the exercise.
  • How much air you are breathing in and out.
  • How fast your heart beats during the exercise.

While performing the test, you will breathe through a mouthpiece or wear a face mask, similar to what is used to perform a Pulmonary Function Test. An EKG (electrocardiogram) will check your heart’s electrical activity.

Why are Cardiopulmonary Exercise Tests done?

  • Pre-operative requirement.
  • To let your doctor know if you need oxygen during exercise.
  • After receiving abnormal lab results.
  • When a patient experiences shortness of breath when exercising or walking.

What do you need to do to prepare for your test?

  • Wear appropriate shoes and clothing for walking on a treadmill.
  • Do not smoke before the test.
  • Be sure to eat at least 2-4 hours before the test.

The CPET will be done in the Pulmonary Function Lab at the Edgewood Campus. An expert team of St. Elizabeth Physicians and cardiopulmonary technologists will provide high quality care while you complete the test.


American Association of Respiratory Care