Unexplained breathlessness service

We provide a comprehensive, one-stop assessment to find out the cause of your breathlessness. Our multi-disciplinary team’s specialist experience combined with advanced tests, mean we can investigate the cause of your problems and apply a specialised approach to help improve your symptoms.

What to expect 

  • You will first have a clinical review in our day unit, which is located on the fourth floor in Fulham Wing / South Block on Fulham Road.

  • We will then ask you to carry out some specialist breathing tests (lung function tests).
  • It is likely that you may also need a blood test and chest X-ray. However, if you have the results of recent tests, we do not need to repeat them.
  • After you have had time to rest and if you are able, we will ask you to carry out an exercise test on either a walking treadmill or an exercise bike. This test is called a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). 

  • A senior physiotherapist will check your breathing, discuss your breathlessness problems with you and give you expert advice on how to help improve it.  

  • When all the tests have been completed, we will go through and discuss your results and individual plan with you.

Access to leading expertise

The unexplained breathlessness service is linked with the asthma and allergy servicepulmonary hypertension unit and cardiac teams at Royal Brompton Hospital, so we have access to leading expertise in a number of areas.

Clinical lead

Dr James Hull is clinical lead for the unexplained breathlessness service

One-stop assessment

Patients will receive a detailed and comprehensive assessment in one visit.

Athletes with breathing difficulties

The unexplained breathlessness service also has specialist expertise in helping athletes with breathing difficulties. Our service has expertise in providing breathing control work during sport-specific exercise (including rowing).