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What Is A Cpx Test?

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I am scheduled for a CPX test on August first.

Someone told me it is like a PFT, but you also have to ride a bike with increasing amounts of resistance. Since a PFT can send me to the ER, I am wondering what this test might do to me... B)

If anyone has any insight, I would love to hear it.



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hi angela -

i don't have any personal experience with the tests you mentioned, but here's something describing a CPX test (as i was curious myself about what it was so did a quick search.) http://www.advocatehealth.com/system/info/...e/carstest.html. it's just the first result from a google search (aka not necessarily the best or most thorough link) so you could likely find additional info with a search yourself. i just searched for "CPX test". and while it refers to the use of a treadmill that doesn't mean that some facilities might not use a bike instead. if you're someone who does better with more info in advance, perhaps you could call the facility where your test is scheduled to find out more about what it actually entails.

hope this helps a bit...

B) melissa

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Hi Angela

Cardiopulmonary exs test...I`ve had 5 of them during my 7 years with dysautonomia..I dont think you have to worry about it .

Basically you are hooked up to an ECG and a breathing tube to breath in and out of .. you just breathe normally ..your BP will be measured at the start and finish of the test and maybe during too . There is a respiratory doc with you throughout the test and he will stop it at any time if he feels you are struggling . You are correct in that you will be seated on a bike and given progressive resistance.

I believe the test lasts for up to 10 mins but I`ve never lasted more than 2 or 3...

Hope this helps


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Sophia3 PFT means Pulmonary Function Test B) Thank you, I do have a lot on my plate, but now I have some hope that someone might be able to help me and that means so much!

I am kind of worried about this test, I couldn't get through the PFT, this sounds much more physically exerting than the PFT was...

Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice!


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I had one, but here it is called a CPET test. cardiopulmonary exercise test.

I walked for mine. It's exactly like a treamill, and you are hooked up exactly the same, except you breath in a PFT like tube, as opposed to just walking and breathing. You just have to meet a target heart rate or if you get too fatigued, they will stop it.

I lasted only 4 minutes, but they got a lot of info. It's a test that determines how well your heart and lungs work together and if one is causing a problem with the other. It can tell if you hyperventilate and stuff. They will not keep you on it longer than you can tolerate. Sometimes they draw a bit of blood from you to measure the oxygen in it, but not often.

Mine showed I don't hyperventilate, and my pulse was way too inappropriately fast, but my lungs worked okay and they worked together like they should. They will make sure you are fine before you leave and you don't get any meds to have to worry about. All I got was tired. And I am always tired anyway, so no big deal. it is nothing to be afraid of, and a doctor and two attendants are there. Sorry about the spelling, I used to be so good at it....good luck sweetie...morgan

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Hi Angela,

I'm guessing that the reason your POTS flared with the PFT (pulmonary function test) is because of the repeated forced expiration (the blow as hard and as fast as you can ....keep going, keep going...). In the PFT the type of breathing out you have to do can stimulate the vagal nerve and cause your heard rate and BP to go crazy.

In the cardio-pulmonary exercise test the breathing assessment is different. You do have a tube in your mouth and sometimes a nose clip on too, but you are asked to BREATHE NORMALLY - there is no "blowing out hard" part to the test. Essentially it is no worse than just doing the exercise (usually bicycle, sometimes treadmill) whilst they monitor your breathing, ECG / HR and BP.

When you go I would tell them what happened with the PFT so that they can reassure you and understand if you're more anxious than normal. If you feel that you can't continue the test just tell them and whilst they may encourage you to do a bit more they won't force you beyond your capabilities.

Good luck, hopefully the test will give your doctors some useful information to help them understand and treat your symptoms.


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