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Cardiovascular Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear?

The answer depends upon the particular test you are doing.

  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (PFT+CPET) - Dress in comfortable clothes that are appropriate for riding a bicycle. Do not wear a dress, skirt or full slip. You will be wearing EKG leads on your chest, so you should not wear one piece outfits or clothing that prevents easy access to your chest. Closed toe shoes are required for testing. Do not wear high heals, sandals, flip flops, etc.
  • Pulmonary Test (PFT) - Dress in comfortable clothing that does not restrict your breathing or chest movement.
  • Resting Metabolic Rate Test (RMR) - Dress in comfortable clothing that does not restrict your breathing or chest movement.
Can I have caffeine before my test?
  • CPET, PFT, Combo (PFT+CPET) - You cannot have any caffeine in a drink or food for at least 3 hours before your appointment.
  • RMR - You cannot have any caffeine in a drink or food for at least 5 hours before your appointment.
Can I drink anything before my test?
  • CPET, PFT, Combo (PFT+CPET) - You may only drink water during the 3 hours before your appointment.
  • RMR - You may only drink water during the 5 hours before your appointment.
Can I eat anything before my test?

The answer depends on the particular test you are doing and any conditions you may have. If you have NOT been diagnosed with diabetes by a doctor;

  • CPET - No food should be eaten during the 3 hours before your appointment.
  • PFT - No food should be eaten during the 3 hours before your appointment.
  • Combo (PFT+CPET) - No food should be eaten during the 3 hours before your appointment.
  • RMR - No food should be eaten during the 5 hours before your appointment

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes by a doctor you will need to maintain your blood sugar levels. You may snack during the fasting period listed above, but avoid full meals during this time.

should I take my medications on the day of the test?
  • Your physician will instruct you about taking your medication. If you did not receive any instructions, take your medications as usual. You may contact your physician's office if you are not sure what to do.
Can I smoke before the test?
  • Smoking should be avoided during the day of the test. Smoking on the day of testing will negatively influence the test results. If you are unable to abstain from smoking for the entire day, please do not smoke for several hours before your appointment.
What should I bring to the test?
  • A list of your medications.
  • A bottle of water.
  • If you take nitroglycerin, please bring it.
  • If you take an inhaler, please bring it.
How long do I have to exercise during a CPET?
  • You will exercise on the bicycle for 8-14 minutes, with only the last few minutes being difficult.
Will I have blood drawn during the test?
  • No, blood will not be drawn during this test. It is a non-invasive test.
How much time will I spend in the testing room?

The answer depends upon the particular test you are doing.

  • CPET: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • PFT: 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Combo: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • RMR: 30 minutes
When will I get the results?
  • A report will be delivered to your physician within 24-48 hours of testing. Your physician's office will contact you about the results.
Who will be performing the test?
  • A MET-TEST technician will perform your CPET, PFT, Combo or RMR. Our technicians have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in exercise science or respiratory care and have been through the intensive MET-TEST training program. All technicians are certified in advanced cardiac life support and are trained to handle emergency situations.
Will there be a physician present during the test?
  • A physician is required to be on site during a CPET and Combo.
Can I bring my cell phone?
  • Cell phones should be turned off before entering the testing room because they can interfere with the testing equipment.
Is it difficult to breathe while wearing the face mask?
  • The face mask will not interfere with your breathing.
What kind of air will I be breathing through the mask during a CPET?
  • You will only be breathing-in the air from the environment during the CPET. Can guests accompany me to the testing room?
Can guests accompany me to the testing room?
  • Relatives, friends or others may wait for you in the waiting room, but cannot come to the testing room unless you need assistance.
Can I listen to music during my test?
  • Headphones or other sources of music are NOT allowed during testing.
Should I limit my activity before the test?
  • Strenuous physical work should be avoided for at least 24 hours before the test. Moderate exercise, yard work, heavy lifting, construction, etc. should be avoided if possible.
Should I practice riding a bicycle during the week before my test?
  • You should NOT alter your exercise habits during the week before your test. If you do not currently exercise regularly, practicing for the test will not improve your results.
I have knee problems/ knee replacement; will I be able to ride the bicycle?
  • Our bicycle can be adjusted to minimize the stress on your knee. Most people with knee problems or a knee replacement can perform a CPET. Some people who are unable to perform a stress test on a treadmill can perform a CPET on the bicycle without problems.
I was unable to do a treadmill stress test; will I be able to ride the bicycle?
  • Many of our patients are unable to keep up with the speed of a treadmill, but can ride the bicycle without problems.
Can I be tested if I am sick (cold, flu, etc)?
  • Contact your physician's office.
Can I do this test if I am not physically fit?
  • Yes, the bicycle will be adjusted to increase slow or fast so that all people can perform the test.
Does the bicycle have a weight limit?
  • The bicycle will not support you if you weigh more than 350 pounds.