Book Review: A Practical Guide to the Interpretation of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Tests


Authors? Dr William Kinnear and Dr James Hull, two Consultant Respiratory Physicians based in the United Kingdom who are both widely published in respiratory physiology.

Publication Date? January 2021

Price? £29.99 + shipping cost

Where can you buy it? There are various websites selling the book (including but not limited to):


Oxford University Press

World of Books

Amazon (£16.66 to purchase kindle edition)

What does the book cover?

This is the second edition of ‘A practical guide to the interpretation of cardiopulmonary exercise tests’, updated and revised to account for the latest guidelines and evidence. The book logically works through how aspects of cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET), starting with the practicalities of performing CPET through to explaining the data that is collected and how to interpret results.

Section 1 introduces CPET by explaining why they are carried out, the aspects involved in the pre-test assessment and how to practically carry the test out. Section 2 goes into detail about the key CPET parameters such as ventilation, respiratory exchange ratio and anaerobic threshold. The physiology aspects are explained throughout, allowing readers to understand the science behind the data being collected. Section 3 explains how to use the CPET data including interpretation strategies and characteristic CPET patterns for certain diseases. Preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing is also discussed. The final section provides practice questions to consolidate learning.

Interpreting CPET results is often perceived to be daunting, particularly to those with limited prior experience. This book breaks the interpretation down into simple steps which aids understanding and application. For anyone interested in performing and interpreting cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) this book aims to provide all the required information, and achieves this goal well.

Relevance to SEM?

In SEM CPET is used in athletes to aid diagnosis of suspected cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, including those that may result in increased risk when participating in sport and exercise. It is also used in pre-participation screening of athletes to measure cardiorespiratory fitness and maximal exercise tolerance. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing and interpretation is included in the UK Sport and Exercise Medicine Speciality Training Curriculum.1

Bonus Useful Features

  • A bank of questions to test and solidify knowledge
  • Example clinical scenarios that are clearly worked through
  • Practical tips for carrying out CPET
  1. Curriculum for Sport and Exercise Medicine Training. Implementation August 2021. Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board. 2020. Available at: [Assessed: 28.04.2021]

Reviewed by Dr Katie Marino. Associate Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine and executive board member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

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