Reproducibility of the exponential rise technique of CO2 rebreathing for measuring P vCO2 and C vCO2 to non-invasively estimate cardiac output during incremental, maximal treadmill exercise
Externally recorded systolic time intervals (STI's), indirect (CO2 re-breathing) cardiac output, and auscultatory blood pressures were measured during upright bicycle ergometer work in 20 healthy men, aged 24-56 yr. The subjects were studied on 2 separate days at steady-state work loads chosen to represent light (mean heart rate (HR) = 96 beats.min-1), moderate (HR = 118 beats.min-1) and heavy (HR = 147 beats.min-1) exercise. In addition to determinations of cardiac output, systolic time intervals, and blood pressure, the individual's mean systolic ejection rate (stroke volume/left ventricular ejection time) was calculated as a measure of left ventricular function. In general, heart-rate-corrected STI's were found to be reliable and reproducible. Reliability coefficients for total electromechanical systole and left ventricular ejection time ranged from 0.93 to 0.96 while those for the preejection period and its subcomponents were between 0.63 and 0.88. The reliability of cardiac output, stroke volume, mean systolic ejection rate, and systolic blood pressure was also considered to be acceptable but tended to be higher during moderate and heavy work (r = 0.85-0.95) compared to light exercise (r = 0.60-0.83).