Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test Specialist

Vein & Cardiovascular Center

Ashish Pal, MD, FACC

Cardiologist & Vein Specialist located in Orlando, FL & Sebring, FL

A cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) is a highly effective exercise test that evaluates your heart, lungs, and muscles all at the same time. It is the gold standard to identify the cause of shortness of breath and can detect many conditions and diseases that ordinary exercise stress tests can’t, and it’s also safer and more reliable. Vein & Cardiovascular Center: Ashish Pal, MD, in Orlando, Sebring, and Davenport, Florida, is the only practice in the area to have this state-of-the-art equipment on site. Book your evaluation with Ashish Pal, MD, FACC, by phone or through the online scheduler.

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test Q & A

What is a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET)?

A CPET is a test that evaluates your heart, lung, and muscle health for a full checkup of your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. During this test, you use a stationary bicycle while the equipment measures your oxygen use, carbon dioxide production, breathing patterns, and heart activity. 

Dr. Pal uses CPET to detect and diagnose many conditions including heart disease, lung disease, and muscle metabolic disorders. A CPET is also helpful to patients with a family history of premature heart disease or coronary heart diseases and sudden death.

It takes 45 minutes to two hours to complete your test on-site at Vein & Cardiovascular Center: Ashish Pal, MD. The exercise portion lasts just 8-14 minutes, whether you’re having the full CPET or just a single test of pulmonary, heart, or muscle function.

When do I need CPET?

There are a few different reasons that Dr. Pal might recommend CPET, with one very common reason being unexplained symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain. 

CPET isn’t only for diagnostics, however. This test can track chronic disease progression, evaluate how new medications are working, and help Dr. Pal to determine the ideal treatment approach for your condition. 

How is CPET better than a regular exercise stress test?

CPET is a far more detailed and specific kind of test. Ordinary exercise stress testing, in which you walk on a treadmill for an EKG test, can detect only large blood vessel myocardial ischemia. In many cases, an ordinary EKG won’t reveal signs of heart disease even when it’s present.

CPET evaluates your interconnected heart, lung, and muscle systems to find conditions that an EKG alone can’t detect, including: 

  • Heart failure
  • Cardiac valve dysfunction
  • Large blood vessel myocardial ischemia
  • Small blood vessel myocardial ischemia 
  • Chronotropic incompetence
  • Muscle metabolic disorders
  • Pulmonary ventilation disorder
  • Pulmonary circulation disorder
  • Deconditioning

With CPET, you exercise on a very stable stationary bicycle, so there’s no risk of falls like there is with a treadmill. The bicycle intensity increases gradually to gather accurate measurements of your body’s response to exercise. 

This gradual approach allows for highly accurate measurements. With CPET, the incremental increases allow you to keep up without putting yourself in danger. 

In contrast, a treadmill test has dramatic spikes in speed and incline that can be exhausting. Sometimes, patients must stop the test early with a treadmill test due to exhaustion. 

CPET is a safe, reliable way to detect and monitor disease in a comfortable setting. Call the Vein & Cardiovascular Center: Ashish Pal, MD office nearest you, or book your test online.