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Noninvasive Determination of Anaerobic Threshold by Monitoring the %SpO2 Changes and Respiratory Gas Exchange

Nikooie, Roohollah1; Gharakhanlo, Reza1; Rajabi, Hamid2; Bahraminegad, Morteza3; Ghafari, Ali2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 7 - p 2107-2113
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b73bc2
Original Research

Nikooie, R, Gharakhanlo, R, Rajabi, H, Bahraminegad, M, and Ghafari, A. Noninvasive determination of anaerobic threshold by monitoring the %Spo2 changes and respiratory gas exchange. J Strength Cond Res 23(7): 2107-2113, 2009-The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of noninvasive anaerobic threshold (AT) estimation using %SpO2 (arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation) changes and respiratory gas exchanges. Fifteen active, healthy males performed 2 graded exercise tests on a motor-driven treadmill in 2 separated sessions. Respiratory gas exchanges and heart rate (HR), lactate concentration, and %SpO2 were measured continuously throughout the test. Anaerobic threshold was determined based on blood lactate concentration (lactate-AT), %SpO2 changes (%SpO2-AT), respiratory exchange ratio (RER-AT), V-slope method (V-slope-AT), and ventilatory equivalent for O2 (EqO2-AT). Blood lactate measuring was considered as gold standard assessment of AT and was applied to confirm the validity of other noninvasive methods. The mean O2 corresponding to lactate-AT, %SpO2-AT, RER-AT, V-slope -AT, and EqO2-AT were 2176.6 ± 206.4, 1909.5 ± 221.4, 2141.2 ± 245.6, 1933.7 ± 216.4, and 1975 ± 232.4, respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis indicates a significant correlation between 4 noninvasive methods and the criterion method. Blond-Altman plots showed the good agreement between O2 corresponding to AT in each method and lactate-AT (95% confidence interval (CI). Our results indicate that a noninvasive and easy procedure of monitoring the %SpO2 is a valid method for estimation of AT. Also, in the present study, the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) method seemed to be the best respiratory index for noninvasive estimation of anaerobic threshold, and the heart rate corresponding to AT predicted by this method can be used by coaches and athletes to define training zones.

1Faculty of Physical Education, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran; 2Faculty of Physical Education, Tarbiat Moalem University, Tehran, Iran; and 3Olympic National Academi, Exercise Physiology Section, Tehran, Iran

Address correspondence to Roohollah Nikooie,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association