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Respiratory Inductance Plethysmography—A Rationale for Validity during Exercise


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 2014 - Volume 46 - Issue 3 - p 488–495
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000130
Basic Sciences

Introduction The aim of this study was to provide a rationale for future validations of a priori calibrated respiratory inductance plethysmography (RIP) when used under exercise conditions. Therefore, the validity of a posteriori–adjusted gain factors and accuracy in resultant breath-by-breath RIP data recorded under resting and running conditions were examined.

Methods Healthy subjects, 98 men and 88 women (mean ± SD: height = 175.6 ± 8.9 cm, weight = 68.9 ± 11.1 kg, age = 27.1 ± 8.3 yr), underwent a standardized test protocol, including a period of standing still, an incremental running test on treadmill, and multiple periods of recovery. Least square regression was used to calculate gain factors, respectively, for complete individual data sets as well as several data subsets. In comparison with flowmeter data, the validity of RIP in breathing rate (f R) and inspiratory tidal volume (VTIN) were examined using coefficients of determination (R 2). Accuracy was estimated from equivalence statistics.

Results Calculated gains between different data subsets showed no equivalence. After gain adjustment for the complete individual data set, f R and VTIN between methods were highly correlated (R 2 = 0.96 ± 0.04 and 0.91 ± 0.05, respectively) in all subjects. Under conditions of standing still, treadmill running, and recovery, 86%, 98%, and 94% (fR) and 78%, 97%, and 88% (VTIN), respectively, of all breaths were accurately measured within ±20% limits of equivalence.

Conclusion In case of the best possible gain adjustment, RIP confidentially estimates tidal volume accurately within ±20% under exercise conditions. Our results can be used as a rationale for future validations of a priori calibration procedures.

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1Department of Sport and Sport Science, Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Freiburg, GERMANY; 2Digital Sports Group, Pattern Recognition Lab, University of Erlangen–Nürnberg, Nürnberg, GERMANY; and 3Applied Public Health, Furtwangen University, Furtwangen, GERMANY

Address for correspondence: Christian Heyde, M.A., Department of Sport and Sport Science, Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Schwarzwaldstrasse 175, 79117 Freiburg, Germany; E-mail:

Submitted for publication May 2013.

Accepted for publication July 2013.

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© 2014 American College of Sports Medicine