Reproducibility of hypercapnic ventilatory response measurements with steadystate and rebreathing methods

Denise C. Mannée*, Timon M. Fabius, Michiel Wagenaar, Michiel M.M. Eijsvogel, Frans H.C. de Jongh

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this study, the hypercapnic ventilatory response (HCVR) was measured, defined as the ventilation response to carbon dioxide tension (PCO2). We investigated which method, rebreathing or steady-state, is most suitable for measurement of the HCVR in healthy subjects, primarily based on reproducibility. Secondary outcome parameters were subject experience and duration. 20 healthy adults performed a rebreathing and steady-state HCVR measurement on two separate days. Subject experience was assessed using numeric rating scales (NRS). The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICCs) of the sensitivity to carbon dioxide above the ventilatory recruitment threshold and the projected apnoea threshold were calculated to determine the reproducibility of both methods. The ICCs of sensitivity were 0.89 (rebreathing) and 0.56 (steady-state). The ICCs of the projected apnoea threshold were 0.84 (rebreathing) and 0.25 (steady-state). The steady-state measurement was preferred by 16 out of 20 subjects; the differences in NRS scores were small. The hypercapnic ventilatory response measured using the rebreathing setup provided reproducible results, while the steady-state method did not. This may be explained by high variability in end-tidal PCO2. Differences in subject experience between the methods are small.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00141-2017
JournalERS Monograph
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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