Measurement of oxygen uptake in the non-steady-state. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of these experiments was to develop and validate an open-circuit technique for measurement of gas exchange during the transition from rest to constant load steady-state exercise. The design of the open-circuit system employed to measure gas exchange in these experiments used a mixing chamber to collect the subject's expired ventilation where fractions of O2 and CO2 were determined via electronic gas analyzers. A gasometer was used to measure inspired ventilation and the analog signals from the two gas analyzers and the gasometer were sent to a microcomputer for computation of VO2. In calculating VO2, the mixed expired gas concentrations were matched with ventilatory volume using a previously determined time delay. To determine the validity of the open-circuit system, four subjects performed a series of 16 rest-to-work transitions on a cycle ergometer. In eight of the experiments, serial measurements of VO2 were obtained every 20 s for 3 min using the open-circuit mixing chamber system while the additional eight experiments used the Douglas bag technique. No significant difference (p greater than 0.05) existed between VO2 values calculated by the two techniques. Mean differences in VO2 between the two techniques during the first three 20-s measurement periods were 6, 53, and 63 ml, respectively. Using the Douglas bag technique as the standard, this represents a relative measurement error of 0.1%, 4.5%, and 3.6%, respectively, at the above time intervals. These data demonstrate that an open-circuit system employing a mixing chamber and the appropriate time delay to match expired gas fractions and ventilation is a sensitive means of measurement of VO2 in the non-steady-state.

published proceedings

  • Aviat Space Environ Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Powers, S. K., Lawler, J., Thompson, D., & Beadle, R.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Powers, SK||Lawler, J||Thompson, D||Beadle, R

publication date

  • April 1987