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Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in clinical practice: Principles, applications, and basic interpretation.

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) provides a noninvasive and integrated assessment of the response of the respiratory, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems to exercise. This information improves the diagnosis, risk stratification, and therapeutic management of several clinical conditions. Additionally, CPET is the gold standard test for cardiorespiratory fitness quantification and exercise prescription, both in patients with cardiopulmonary disease undergoing cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation programs and in healthy individuals, such as high-level athletes. In this setting, the relevance of practical knowledge about this exam is useful and relevant to several medical specialties other than cardiology. However, despite its multiple established advantages, CPET remains underused. This article aims to increase awareness of the value of CPET in clinical practice and to inform clinicians about its main indications, applications, and basic interpretation.

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