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Cardiopulmonary Exercise Laboratory

Exercise Physiology Lab

The Cardiopulmonary Exercise Laboratory offers comprehensive exercise testing for patients with congenital and acquired heart disease. The lab is directed by Christopher Davis, M.D., Ph.D., and currently performs more than 300 tests a year.

Testing typically includes continuous cardiac monitoring during exercise and assessment of lung function before, during and after exercise.  Testing can occur in patients from age 7 up to adulthood.

Patients with heart and/or lung disease, as well as those for whom exercise ability is an important component of their diagnosis and treatment, are the most often tested. The laboratory is equipped with a treadmill and bicycle ergometer, state-of-the art diagnostic equipment, and all standard resuscitative equipment. In addition, the lab can perform specialized ultrasound imaging of the heart during and after exercise, called exercise echocardiography, which allows our physicians to gain further insight into the heart function of patients.

For a typical patient, a test will take approximately 45 minutes, but the actual time exercising takes only 10-15 minutes. It is important for patients to wear clothes and shoes suitable for exercising. They should eat a light meal 1-2 hours before the test, but refrain from eating a heavy meal immediately before.

Patients check in at the registration area of the Heart Institute and then are directed to the Exercise Lab for testing.


Christopher Davis, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Exercise Laboratory; Director, Cardiology Clinics; Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, UC San Diego

Jessica Haley, M.D., Director, Home Monitoring Program; Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, UC San Diego