Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is an exercise stress test with concomitant expired gas analysis that provides an objective, non-invasive measure of functional capacity under stress. CPET-derived variables predict postoperative morbidity and mortality after major abdominal and thoracic surgery. Two previous surveys have reported increasing utilisation of CPET preoperatively in England. We aimed to evaluate current CPET practice in the UK, to identify who performs CPET, how it is performed, how the data generated are used and the funding models.
All anaesthetic departments in trusts with adult elective surgery in the UK were contacted by telephone to obtain contacts for their pre-assessment and CPET service leads. An online survey was sent to all leads between November 2016 and March 2017.
The response rate to the online survey was 73.1% (144/197) with 68.1% (98/144) reporting an established clinical service and 3.5% (5/144) setting up a service. Approximately 30,000 tests are performed a year with 93.0% (80/86) using cycle ergometry. Colorectal surgical patients are the most frequently tested (89.5%, 77/86). The majority of tests are performed and interpreted by anaesthetists. There is variability in the methods of interpretation and reporting of CPET and limited external validation of results.
This survey has identified the continued expansion of perioperative CPET services in the UK which have doubled since 2011. The vast majority of CPET tests are performed and reported by anaesthetists. It has highlighted variation in practice and a lack of standardised reporting implying a need for practice guidelines and standardised training to ensure high-quality data to inform perioperative decision making.
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- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) in the United Kingdom—a national survey of the structure, conduct, interpretation and funding
D. Z. H. Levett
on behalf of Perioperative Exercise Testing and Training Society (POETTS)
- BioMed Central
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