A cardiopulmonary (heart + lungs) stress test is a noninvasive, no-prep diagnostic test which your pulmonologist uses to better understand your heart and lung function. This high-tech procedure is simple to take and easy for a practitioner to administer, yet it yields a wealth of beneficial information.
Let’s talk about what a cardiopulmonary stress test is meant to accomplish, how it works, and where you can go to have a best-in-class test and accurate results here in North Texas.
Why Would My Doctor Order a Cardiopulmonary Stress Test?
Your doctor may want to understand how much oxygen your body uses during exertion and how efficiently it does so. In other words, how much exercise your body can tolerate without adversely limiting the amount of oxygen delivered to the major body organs – such as the heart, brain, and liver.
Your pulmonary medicine doctor will also use the data gathered to:
- Develop a cardiac treatment plan to include the right amount of exercise
- Optimize the operation of an implanted cardiac pacemaker
- Determine the need for cardiac surgery (e.g., valve replacement)
- Evaluate whether you have congestive heart failure, and if so, its severity
- Determine your fitness for various kinds of work
- Determine whether your treatment is working (for COPD, asthma, lung cancer, etc.)
With the data from the stress test, your doctor can also modify your at-home and cardiac rehabilitation exercises.
What Will Happen During My Cardiopulmonary Stress Test?
During your stress test, you will be fully monitored. Electrodes are affixed to various locations on your back and chest. You will walk on a treadmill while the medical equipment monitors your heart rate, heart rhythm, how much oxygen you take in, and how much carbon dioxide you exhale.
At some point, your technician will ask you to walk more quickly in order to measure these outputs during greater effort. You will be asked to walk as quickly as possible so your doctor can determine your true maximum exercise capacity.
In all, the test takes about 30 to 40 minutes, with the most strenuous portion lasting about 10 minutes. When you finish the assessment, you can rest before you leave.
Your doctor will then receive a full report from your cardiopulmonary exercise test. For a complete diagnostic picture, your pulmonologist may also order other lung function tests, such as:
- Spirometry test
- Pulmonary (lung) function test
- SHAPE (submaximal heart and pulmonary evaluation) test
- Chest X-rays
- Walking tests
Medical Heart-Lung Evaluation in North Texas
If your doctor has ordered a cardiopulmonary stress test for you, consider the skilled medical team at the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas. Our experienced doctors and technicians will work with you in a comfortable environment with the most leading-edge equipment. Dr. Olusegun Oseni is our on-site lung specialist who will ensure that your test is done properly and that your results are interpreted accurately for your doctor’s evaluation.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation or a stress test, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (817) 594-9993 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to being part of your healthcare team!