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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Cardiopulmonary Stress Tests

09/09/2009

Question:

If someone is sent for further testing because desats and cardiac changes showed up on a treadmill, why would the testing center choose to use a stationary bike instead of the treadmill? I was told both were exactly the same and would produce the same results but also told they felt it was "safer" for me to only use the stationary bike because of my medical history (COPD stage 3-4, past MI) If they are the "same" why was the bike "safer"? And when it didn`t produce the same results ( not make me feel as under duress as the treadmill) why did they refuse to trial me on the treadmill? I just don`t understand and it has not been explained why. Any answers or lit review info would be appreciated.

Answer:

The most recent statement from the American Thoracic Society and American College of Chest Physicians on Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing was published in 2003 and can be found at http://www.thoracic.org/statements/resources/pfet/cardioexercise.pdf
You will see in table 2 that there are advantages and disadvantages to cycle versus treadmill testing. There is a nice discussion of the difference between the two on page 218 of the manuscript. Some centers may have protocols set up only for cycle testing and others may have both cycle and treadmill testing.

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Response by:

Michael E Ezzie, MD Michael E Ezzie, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University