How do I prepare for the test?

In order to optimize the best test results it will be necessary to withhold some medications prior to test day. Please come to your appointment with running shoes and comfortable clothing (e.g. shorts, T-shirt and/or sweats).

  • 72 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all long-acting Antihistamines (Claritin, Loratadine, Alavert, Clarinex, Zyrtec, Zyzal, or Allegra)
  • 48 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all long-acting Bronchodilators (Theophylline, Theodur, Serevent, Advair, Foradil), Anitcholinergics (Combivent, Atrovent, Spiriva, DuoNeb), Tilade or Intal.
  • 24 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all Leukotriene Modifiers (Singulair, Accolate, Zyflo) and stop all short acting Antihistamines (Benadryl, Astelin)
  • 8 Hours Prior to Appointment: Stop all Oral and Inhaled Bronchodilators (Volmax, Proventil Repetabs, Proventil HFA, Maxair, Ventolin, Xopenex, ProAir, AccuNeb or Albuterol MDI/solution).
  • 4 Hours Prior to Appointment: NO STRENUOUS EXERCISE

Why is this test being ordered?

Your doctor is concerned that some of your symptoms may indicate that you might have exercise-induced asthma. This test may help confirm or disprove that impression.

What will the test tell the doctor?

This test will tell if your lungs are sensitive or reactive to exercise. Asthma is the only pulmonary disease in which an appropriate amount of exercise can precipitate signs of airway obstruction due to heat and water loss from the airway mucosa.

How is the test done and how long will it take?

This test requires that you run/walk on a treadmill for 6 minutes to achieve a target heart rate of 80% of maximal oxygen consumption according to your age. Before you begin, a preliminary lung function test will be performed in order to establish your current health. Next, you will walk/run while simultaneously blowing into a peak flow meter to evaluate your lung functions. Once the exercise portion of the test is complete, you will do more lung function tests on a machine called a spirometer at various intervals. During the tests you will need to give your best effort with both the peak flow meter and spirometer to ensure that we get the best results possible. The test takes approximately 3⁄4 of an hour.

Are there any long term effects?

The test may make you wheeze or feel tightness in your chest, or feel short of breath. The nurse may give you a medication treatment, which will rapidly relieve the symptoms. There are no long-term side effects.