Cardiopulmonary testing provides patients with a variety of non-invasive tests of the heart and lungs to help respiratory therapists and cardiologists diagnose lung disease and heart damage. There are different types of stress tests that you can take to diagnose some heart problems. Cardiac stress testing can be performed using either a treadmill or drugs if a patient is unable to walk on a treadmill.
An electrocardiogram (EKG) test records the electrical activity of the heart through electrodes placed on the skin. EKGs are used to identify damage to the heart and diagnose abnormal rhythms caused by damage to conductive tissue or by electrolyte imbalances.
A cardiac ultrasound (also called an echocardiogram, or echo) is a sonogram that captures images of the heart so cardiologists can diagnose cardiac problems including heart disease, coronary artery disease and abnormalities without having to insert or cut into the body.
The images are stored in a system that allows clinicians and cardiologists to view the images and report on the tests at reading stations throughout the hospital.
Your doctor may also recommend lung function tests if you have breathing problems.
A pulmonary function test measures lung volume and flow, and reports how well oxygen is diffused into blood. Pulmonary function testing is used to diagnose and confirm Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and gauge the severity of lung damage.