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Patient Instructions for Cardiopulmonary Stress Test


A cardiopulmonary stress test is useful for evaluation of the heart and lungs. The test begins with 4 pulmonary function tests, which will evaluate your lung capacity and function. You will then be connected to an ECG heart monitor and asked to ride a stationary bicycle – this will usually last around 6-8 minutes.

Throughout the test we will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. You will be able to stop the test at any time if desired, though we do ask you to give it your “best effort” so your doctor can get reliable results.

You should plan to be in the office for approximately 1 hour. There is no need to do any special exercise preparation prior to the test. Each test is set up for your own capabilities.

How to prepare:

  • DO wear comfortable clothes, as you will be seated on the exercise bicycle.
  • DO wear comfortable shoes (i.e. exercise sneakers)
  • Ladies, DO wear a supportive bra/tank top as we will need to access your chest for the ECG monitoring.
  • DO NOT wear a dress or skirt.
  • DO NOT wear sandals, high heels or flip flops
  • DO NOT eat a large/heavy meal just prior to the test.
  • DO NOT take caffeine for 2 hours prior to the test.
  • DO NOT participate in very strenuous activity the day of the test.
  • DO NOT use tobacco prior to the test.

If you normally take a beta-blocker or calcium channel blocker, please do not take your dose prior to the test. You may bring your medication with you to take to take once the test is completed.

Calcium Channel Blockers

  • Amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Tiazac)
  • Felodipine (Plendil)
  • Nicardipine (Cardene)
  • Nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab, Nifedical, Procardia)
  • Nisoldipine (Sular)
  • Verapamil (Calan, Verelan)

Beta Blockers

  • Acetutolol (Sectral)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Betaxolol (Kerlone)
  • Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
  • Carvedilol (Coreg)
  • Labetalol (Trandate)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol)
  • Nadolol (Corgard, Corzide)
  • Nebivolol (Bystolic)
  • Penbutolol (Levatol)
  • Pindolol Propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran XL)
  • Sotalol (Betapace, Sorine, Sotylize)

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Main Campus

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Houston, TX 77079
Ph: 713-468-2122
Fax: 713-468-2289


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1631 N. Loop West Ste. 625
Houston, TX 77008
Ph: 832-649-4370
Fax: 832-218-7402


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Methodist West Campus

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Houston, TX 77094
Ph: 713-973-3470
Fax: 844-873-0032