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Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET)

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - What it is

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - Symptoms

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - How to prevent?

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - Causes and Risk Factors

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - Diagnosis

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - Treatments

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - Preparing for surgery

​What do I need to prepare before the test?

  • Please wear a comfortable T-shirt, shorts/track pants and jogging shoes. Do not perform heavy exercise in the 24 hours before the test.
  • You may be instructed by your doctor to:
    • Continue taking your medication (if any) as prescribed by your doctor or;
    • Stop taking your medication 3 days before the test. 
  • Please have a light meal 3 hours before arriving for your appointment. 
  • Do not drink caffeinated, carbonated or alcoholic beverages on the day of the test.
  • Do not smoke for at least 8 hours before the test.
  • As electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes will be pasted on your chest for the test, men will need to shave their chest before the appointment and ladies are advised to wear a sleeveless or short-sleeved blouse with a buttoned front.


If possible, please do not use or consume any of the following before the test:


  • Bronchodilators
6 Hours before the test
  • Atrovent 

8 hours before the test

  • Ventolin
  • Bricanyl
  • Berodual
  • Berotec
  • Respolin
  • Aeromir
  • Ventide
  • Ventodisk
  • Buventol
  • Combivent 
48 hours before the test
  • Theo-24 Tablets

8 Hours before the test

  • Bricanyl
  • Salbutamol 


24 hours before the test

  • Volmax
  • Theo-Dur
  • Theolin
  • Theoplus
  • Neulin 


48 hours before the test

  • Theo-24


The Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. It is done at the 8B Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit located at Level 8 of the National Heart Centre Singapore.

Below is the general flow for the test:

  1. Your weight and height will be measured and recorded.
  2. The doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical examination on you.
  3. You will undergo a lung function test before the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test. You will be asked to breathe forcefully and rapidly into a device called a spirometer. You may be required to repeat the breathing task a few times to ensure consistent results, but you will have time to rest in between repetitions.
  4. Electrodes will be pasted on your chest for the electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring.
  5. Your resting ECG, heart rate and blood pressure will be measured.
  6. You will be required to wear a facemask to monitor your breathing during the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test. A pulse oximeter will also be attached to your finger to track the oxygen level in your blood stream during exercise.
  7. You will be guided on how to use the exercise equipment during the test.
  8. The data from your test will be analysed by the doctor.


Is the test safe?
The Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test is generally safe with a very low risk of complications. Your blood pressure, heart rate and ECG will be monitored closely by NHCS staff during the test to ensure your safety.

On the day of the test
Appointments for the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test at the National Heart Centre Singapore are scheduled on Thursday mornings.


  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time.
  • If you are feeling unwell on the day of the test, please call us at 6704 2000 to change your appointment.


Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - Post-surgery care

Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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