Streamlining cardiopulmonary exercise testing for use as a screening and tracking tool in primary care

Chul Ho Kim, Erik H. Van Iterson, James E. Hansen, Dean J. MacCarter, Bruce D. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) using a spectrum of different approaches demonstrates usefulness for objectively assessing patient disease severity in clinical and research settings. Still, an absence of trained specialists and/or improper data interpretation techniques can pose major limitations to the effective use of CPET for the clinical classification of patients. This study aimed to test an automated disease likelihood scoring algorithm system based on cardiopulmonary responses during a simplified step-test protocol. For patients with heart failure (HF), pulmonary hypertension (PAH), obstructive lung disease (OLD), or restrictive lung disease (RLD), we compared patient scores stratified into one of four “silos” generated from our novel algorithm system against patient evaluations provided by expert clinicians. Patients with HF (n = 12), PAH (n = 9), OLD (n = 16), or RLD (n = 10) performed baseline pulmonary function testing followed by submaximal step-testing. Breath-by-breath measures of ventilation and gas exchange, in addition to oxygen saturation and heart rate were collected continuously throughout testing. The algorithm demonstrated close alignment with patient assessments provided by clinical specialists: HF (r = 0.89, P < 0.01); PAH (r = 0.88, P < 0.01); OLD (r = 0.70, P < 0.01); and RLD (r = 0.88, P < 0.01). Furthermore, the algorithm was capable of differentiating major disease from other disease pathologies. Thus, in a clinically relevant manner, these data suggest this simplified automated disease algorithm scoring system used during step-testing to identify the likelihood that patients have HF, PAH, OLD, or RLD closely correlates with patient assessments conducted by trained clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPulmonary Circulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • disease tracking tool
  • respiratory patterns
  • submaximal exercise testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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