Automated V̇O(2max) calibrator for open-circuit indirect calorimetry systems

Christopher J. Gore, Peter G. Catcheside, Stephen N. French, John M. Bennett, Joe Laforgia

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)


    The complete calibration of indirect calorimetry systems involves simultaneous checks of gas analyzers, volume de vice, and software, and this requires a machine that can mimic accurately and precisely the ventilation and expired gases of an athlete. While previous calibrators have been built successfully, none have matched the ventilatory flows produced by athletes during high intensity exercise. A calibrator able to simulate high aerobic power (V̇O(2max) calibrator) was fabricated and tested against conventional indirect calorimetry systems that use chain-compensated gasometers to measure expired volume (V̇(E) systems) and calibrated electronic gas analyzers. The calibrator was also checked against a system that measures inspired volume (V̇(I) system) with a turbine ventilometer. The pooled data from both V̇(E) and V̇(I) systems for predicted V̇O2 ranging from 2.9 to 7.9 L · min-1 and ventilation ranging from 89 to 246 L · min-1 show that the absolute accuracy (bias) of values measured by conventional indirect calorimetry systems compared with those predicted by the calibrator was excellent. The bias was < 35 mL · min-1 for V̇O2 and carbon dioxide production, < 0.50 L · min-1 for ventilation (V̇(E BTPS)), -0.02% absolute for the percentage of expired O2, and +0.02% absolute for the percentage of expired CO2. Overall, the precision of the measured V̇O2, V̇CO2, and V̇(E BTPS) was ~1%. This V̇O(2max) calibrator is a versatile device that can be used for routine calibration of most indirect calorimetry systems that assess the ventilation and aerobic power of athletes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1095-1101
    Number of pages7
    JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1997


    • Calibration
    • Gas exchange
    • Maximum oxygen consumption


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