About the Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology Laboratory

The Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is dedicated to providing the highest level of cardiovascular care to our patients. We see children 4 to 18 years of age who have, or who are suspected to have, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, neurologic or other forms of congenital or acquired pediatric disease. However, it is not uncommon to provide these services to adults with congenital heart disease, or other congenital or acquired diseases.

Our multidisciplinary team includes pediatric cardiologists and clinical exercise physiologists who have a special interest in the area of exercise physiology, and are experts in cardiovascular exercise and heart disease. We perform more than 2,000 diagnostic studies each year, using the highest level of technology available. We collaborate with other programs at CHOP to:

  • Provide excellent care and educational and emotional support to our patients and their families
  • Participate in innovation research to identify causes of congenital and acquired heart disease and develop techniques to prevent, diagnose and treat pediatric disease
  • Offer quality educational programs to physicians, scientists and other professionals in the field of pediatric exercise physiology

The Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology Laboratory plays a role in ongoing research within the Cardiac Center and other programs at CHOP. We participate in the research of long-term outcomes in patients with Fontan physiology, and we collaborate with groups such as neurology to study the impact of exercise on long-terms outcomes of patients with heart disease.

Locations and services

The Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology Laboratory is located on the third floor of the Main Campus and at CHOP's Specialty Care & Surgery Center in King of Prussia, PA. Our state-of-the-art laboratory includes three diagnostic testing stations equipped with the latest technology to provide the most complete cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic assessment during exercise, including:

  • Resting lung mechanics and pulmonary function during exercise
  • Non-invasive oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production on a breath-by-breath basis
  • Non-invasive assessment of resting and exercise cardiac output using the acetylene-helium re-breathing method
  • Electrocardiographic (ECG) changes during rest, exercise and recovery
  • Oxygen saturation and blood pressure responses to exercise

The lab is also equipped with the latest technology for providing inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative services. Two rehabilitation areas, a dedicated isolation room within the laboratory, and a separate inpatient rehabilitation gym provide:

  • Electrocardiographic telemetry for continuous monitoring of rhythm, which can be simultaneously viewed both in the lab area and on the inpatient unit
  • Monitoring and evaluation of heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation, and blood pressure responses to aerobic exercise
  • The latest in exercise equipment, including treadmills, cycle ergometers and resistance equipment, which provides a variety of modalities for patients to choose from and fits each patient’s physical needs