Cardiopulmonary Stress Test

ExitCare ImageA cardiopulmonary stress test is an exercise test for your heart and lungs. It measures how well your body uses oxygen. This test is done to:

  • Look at how well your lungs work.

  • Look at why you may have trouble breathing.

  • Judge your ability to exercise.

  • Make an assessment for disability.


  • Ask your doctor what medicines you can or cannot take before the test.

  • Do not eat or drink anything 4 hours before the test or as told by your doctor.

  • Do not eat or drink foods with caffeine for 24 hours before the test.

  • Do not smoke on the day of your test.

  • Bring your inhaler to the test if you have one.

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes to exercise in.


  • Sticky patches (electrodes) will be attached to your chest. These patches help to monitor your heart during the test.

  • A headpiece will be put on your face. This holds a breathing tube that you will breath through during the test. A nose clip will be attached to your nose.

  • You will walk on a treadmill or use a stationary bike. How hard and how long you exercise depends on:

  • Your ability to exercise.

  • Your blood pressue, breathing, and heart rate (vital signs).

  • If you start to have chest pain.

  • If you become short of breath.


You will be taken to a rest area. Your blood pressure, breathing and heart rate will be monitored. Once these are normal, you can go home.

Finding out the results of your test

Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.