Cardiopulmonary exercise testing is a non-invasive, objective method of assessing integrated response of heart, lungs and musculoskeletal system to incremental exercise. Though it has been in use for a few decades, the recent rise in its use as a preoperative test modality is reviewed. A brief account of cardiopulmonary exercise test, as it is carried out in practice and its applications, is given. The physiological basis is explained and relationship of pathophysiology of poor exercise capacity with various test variables is discussed. Its use for prediction of postoperative morbidity in various noncardiopulmonary surgical procedures is reviewed.
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