Bicycle spiroergometry: comparison of standardized examination protocols for adolescents: is it necessary to define own standard values for each protocol?

Windhaber J; Steinbauer M; Holter M; Wieland A;Kogler K; Riedl R; Schober P; Castellani C; Singer G; Till H;

European journal of applied physiology [Eur J Appl Physiol] 2021 Mar 12. Date of Electronic Publication: 2021
Mar 12.

Purpose: To compare performance data of adolescents collected with five different bicycle spiroergometry protocols and to assess the necessity for establishing standard values for each protocol.
Methods: One-hundred-twenty adolescents completed two bicycle spiroergometries within 14 days. One of the two tests was performed based on our institutional weight-adapted protocol (P0). The other test was performed based on one out of four exercise protocols widely used for children and adolescents (P1, 2, 3 or 4) with 30 persons each. The two tests were performed in a random order. Routine parameters of cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) such as VO 2 peak, maximum power, O 2 pulse, OUES, VE/VCO 2 slope as well as ventilatory and lactate thresholds were investigated. Agreement between protocols was evaluated by Bland-Altman analysis, coefficients of variation (CV) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC).
Results: None of the CPET parameters were significantly different between P0 and P1, 2, 3 or 4. For most of the parameters, low biases between P0 and P1-P4 were found and 95% confidence intervalls were narrow. CV and ICC values largely corresponded to well-defined analytical goals (CV < 10% and ICC > 0.9). Only maximal power (Pmax) showed differences in size and drift of the bias depending on the length of the step duration of the protocols.
Conclusion: Comparability between examination protocols has been shown for CPET parameters independent on step duration. Protocol-dependent standard values do not appear to be necessary. Only Pmax is dependent on the step duration, but in most cases, this has no significant influence on the fitness assessment.