Feasibility of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in interstitial lung disease: the PETFIB study
JournalBMJ open respiratory research
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INTRODUCTION: Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) provides a series of biomarkers, such as peak oxygen uptake, which could assess the development of disease status in interstitial lung disease (ILD). However, despite use in research and clinical settings, the feasibility of CPET in this patient group has yet to be established. METHODS: Twenty-six patients with ILD (19 male) were recruited to this study. Following screening for contraindications to maximal exercise, participants underwent an incremental CPET to volitional exhaustion. Feasibility of CPET was assessed by the implementation, practicality, acceptability and demand, thus providing clinical-driven and patient-driven information on this testing procedure. RESULTS: Of the 26 recruited participants, 24 successfully completed at least one CPET, with 67/78 prospective tests being completed. Contraindications included hypertension, low resting oxygen saturation and recent pulmonary embolism. Of the CPETs undertaken, 63% successfully reached volitional exhaustion, with 31% being terminated early by clinicians due to excessive desaturation. Quantitative and qualitative feedback from participants revealed a positive experience of CPET and desire for it to be included as a future monitoring tool. CONCLUSION: CPET is feasible in patients with ILD. Identification of common clinical contraindications, and understanding of patient perspectives will allow for effective design of future studies utilising CPET as a monitoring procedure.