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at the Center of Sports Medicine in Warsaw

About the test. Indications
About the Ergospirometry test at the Center of Sports Medicine in Warsaw

Ergospirometria (spiroergometry) is a cardio - pulmonary test (cardio-pulmonary exercise test, CPET) used worldwide by athletes, sport enthusiasts, and patients with different kind of cardiac, pulmonary and post-injury conditions. Indications for such tests include, among others, physical performance assessment and response to treatment in patients with chronic heart failure in order to qualify them for a heart transplant. The test also helps determining the causes of shortness of breath and / or decreased exercise tolerance of unclear origin (differentiation between a cardiac and pulmonary etiology). The test assesses changes in physical performance and metabolic parameters in response to training or treatment.
Ergospirometry stress test is performed to accurately assess a physical capacity by analyzing exhaled gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide). It is the most advanced method which allows determining metabolic thresholds and zones. The test allows you to plan the intensity of physical training in the context of rehabilitation, training, leisure, health and sports.

What parameters are measured?
During the Ergospirometry test at the Center of Sports Medicine in Warsaw

  • Maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max),
  • Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak),
  • Maximum exercise tolerance expressed in METS or Watt units,
  • ECG exercise test evaluation, heart rate, arrhythmia pressure reaction,
  • Respiratory exchange ratio (RER, VCO2/VO2),
  • VE/VCO2, VE/VO2 Slope ,
  • Anaerobic threshold (AT) and respiratory compensation point (RCP),
  • Aerobic power.

Ergospirometry test
at the Exercise and Stress Testing Laboratory, The Center of Sports Medicine in Warsaw

Preparation for the procedure

A patient should be healthy (no acute diseases) and rested. It is recommended that athletes do not perform any heavy training two days before the test. In case of workout fatigue the test results might be unreliable. You should eat a light meal approx. 3 hours prior to testing. Smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and strong teas on the test day are not recommended and can significantly distort the results. It is recommended to bring previous endurance tests records and, according to the doctor's recommendation and if possible up-to-date results of additional tests. Please bring a towel, a comfortable outfit and sports shoes.

Contraindications for the test

Absolute contraindications:

  • Recent heart attack,
  • Acute myocarditis or pericarditis,
  • Acute diseases such as pulmonary embolism, aortic dissection, endocarditis,
  • Unstable angina pectoris,
  • Unstable hemodynamic arrhythmias,
  • Acute decompensated heart failure,
  • Acute myocarditis or pericarditis, active endocarditis,
  • Severe aortic stenosis,
  • Thrombosis of the lower limbs,
  • Uncontrolled asthma,
  • Respiratory failure,
  • Physical disability that prevents the execution of the test.

Relative contraindications:

  • Atrial fibrillation with uncontrolled ventricular response,
  • Tachyarrhythmia or bradyarrhythmia,
  • Advanced atrioventricular block,
  • Electrolyte imbalance,
  • Narrowing of the left main coronary artery or its equivalent,
  • Moderate aortic stenosis,
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,
  • Significant pulmonary hypertension.

Description of the procedure

In order to ensure your safety and the proper course of the procedure there is a highly trained personnel present during the test, including a medical doctor. Before the test, a patient is asked to undress from the waist up. A nurse prepares patient’s chest to place ECG electrodes. It is sometimes recommended to shave off hair in order to place the electrodes. The electrodes are disposable, made of polyurethane foam or unwoven fabric.

The electrodes are attached to cables through which a patient is connected to a computer analysing electrocardiogram (ECG). Continuous ECG reading is visible on the screen during the entire test. Ergospirometry test is performed on a treadmill, cycle ergometer and manual ergometer. A special silicone facemask is applied with a mouthpiece connected by wires to a device analysing respiratory gases concentrations. The exercise load is gradually increased, depending on the chosen protocol - continuously or discretely. Increasing the exercise load is done by accelerating the pace and the inclination angle of the treadmill or increasing cycle ergometer pedals’ resistance.

After reaching the desired parameters or if there are any indications to stop the examination, a doctor determines the completion of the test. The test can be interrupted at any given moment if the patient feels discomfort or if there are any disturbing indications. After the test, the patient rests in a sitting position and the electrodes are unglued and disposed of. The whole procedure lasts 15-30 minutes.

Information that must be provided to the medical personnel

In order to obtain credible test results, a patient must closely cooperate with the technician and the doctor. Should you feel any discomfort during the test, such as chest pain, headache, lower limbs pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, tinnitus etc. please inform the personnel immediately. Unjustified interruption of the test will result in obtaining no conclusive information.

Possible complications / risks

The exercise test is safe. The most commonly reported discomforts include chest pain, shortness of breath, arrhythmia, dizziness, fainting, lowering of blood pressure, lower limbs pain. Particularly sensitive individuals may experience skin irritation or allergy due to electrodes or face mask adherence. Fatigue after testing may last for several hours. The test can be repeated many times. It is performed in patients of all ages.

Book your ergospirometry test today!
at the Center of Sports Medicine in Warsaw!

A referral from a physician is required to perform an ergospirometry test!

For your health and safety we would like to ask you to fill in the questionnaire  

Zapisy pod numerami telefonów:
22 592 93 05 ... do 10

of the Center of Sports Medicine in Warsaw

to the Center of Sports Medicine in Warsaw


ul. Wawelska 5
02-034 Warszawa

Work hours

Mon. - Fri.: 7.30 - 20.00
Sat.: 9.00 - 14.00

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