Why Am I Short
The medical term for shortness of breath is dyspnea.
It is a common complaint seen by physicians. Although dyspnea
is not a disease, it is a symptom of many medical conditions.
In the majority of cases, the reason for shortness of breath
becomes clear after an examination and basic testing by the
patient’s physician. There are, however, situations
where the cause of dyspnea is still not clear after an initial
Cardiopulmonary Exercise testing (CPET) is
often very helpful in finding the reason for shortness of
breath in these hard-to-diagnose cases. Cardiopulmonary Exercise
testing is an exercise stress test performed on a stationary
bicycle. The patient pedals at a constant pace with increasing
resistance. Multiple parameters are simultaneously measured,
including EKG, oxygen level, respiratory rate and most importantly,
the consumption of oxygen and the production of carbon dioxide.
A computer integrates all the parameters to give a picture
of the patient’s physiologic condition.
Cardiopulmonary Exercise testing can be invaluable for finding
the cause of shortness of breath or exercise intolerance.
The information obtained is often the basis for adjusting
a medication regimen or prescribing an exercise program to
start the patient on the road to recovery.
For more information, contact our office at (631) 351-1144.