Reduced exercise capacity is associated with increased postoperative morbidity. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing variables can be used to risk stratify patients. This information can be used to help guide the choice of surgical procedure and to decide on the most appropriate postoperative care environment. Thus CPET can aid collaborative decision making and improve the process of informed consent. In the future, CPET may be combined with other risk predictors to improve outcome prediction. Furthermore early evidence suggests that CPET can be used to guide prehabilitation training programs, improving fitness and thereby reducing perioperative risk.
Keywords: Anaerobic threshold (AT); Cardiopulmonary exercise testing; Collaborative decision making; Functional capacity; Incremental exercise test; Peak oxygen consumption (o(2) peak); Preoperative; Risk assessment.
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