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Comparison of estimated and measured maximal oxygen uptake during exercise testing in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Abstract Background: 

Maximal oxygen uptake (˙VO2max) and exercise modalities such as walking and standard pulmonary function testing are measurements that have been used by the surgical community as an indication of a patient's current exercise capacity to predict operative outcomes. There are equations available in published reports that allow an estimate of ˙VO2max to be made by measuring a combination of the distance walked as well as lung function in patients with chronic obstructive ¬≠pulmonary disease (COPD). Aims: 

The aim of the present study was to determine if estimates of ˙VO2max and measured ˙VO2max based on predictive equations are useful in individuals with COPD. Methods: 

Twenty-eight male patients (mean age 68 years) with a mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s of 1.3 L were enrolled in the study after determining that they could perform a maximal exercise study. The estimated ˙VO2max using equations reported by Chuang et al. and Cahalin et al. was cross-validated with the measured ˙VO2max determined during cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Results

: The mean estimated ˙VO2max using the pre¬≠diction equation did not differ from the mean measured ˙VO2max (1.13 vs 1.18 L/min, respectively; P = 0.25). However, the scattered relationship between the measured and the estimated ˙VO2max did not support the use of this equation to predict an individual's performance. The prediction equations currently available in published reports significantly underestimate the measured ˙VO2max (P < 0.05−10−12). Conclusions

: It is recommended that ˙VO2max is measured rather than estimated using the prediction equations when a ˙VO2max measurement is used for clinical decision-making. (Intern Med J 2004; 34: 469−474)

Keywords: cycle ergometer; prediction; pulmonary function test; walking test

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Medicine, National Yang Ming University, Taipei and 2: Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine, Department of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California, USA

Publication date: 2004-08-01

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