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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


MIRANDA, Claudia et al. Oxygen uptake kinetics to assess cardiorespiratory fitness in obese patients. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.1, pp.15-21. ISSN 0034-9887.


The evaluation of cardiorespiratory fitness (RCC) using maximal or peak oxygen consumption (VO2), requires a high level of effort in obese patients. We propose a method to evaluate RCC using constant and moderate loads, called VO2 kinetics (tau).


To determine the relationship between tau and peak VO2 in patients with obesity.

Material and Methods:

Forty patients (87% females) aged 37 ± 12 years and with a body mass index (BMI) of 34.6 ± 4.0 kg/m2, were divided into two groups according to the applied workload (0.5 and 0.8 Watts/kg body mass) using a cycle ergometer and Cortex Metalyzer 3b equipment. The protocol was started with 6 minutes at constant load and then increments of 20-25 Watts every two min were made until determination of the peak VO2.


The tau value was 51.8 ± 17.6 s, the absolute peak VO2 was 2.0 ± 0.7 L/min and the relative peak VO2 was 26.6 ± 30.0 ml/kg/min. There was a significant difference of tau medians between the group that used 0.5 and 0.8 Watts/kg (p = 0.002) and a significant inverse correlation between the absolute peak VO2 and the tau value for a load of 0.5 Watts/kg (rho = -0.415, p = 0.0327).


The higher tau value, the lower the peak VO2 of an obese patient. It is suggested to apply loads of 0.5 Watts/kg for a VO2 kinetics test in obese patients or in subjects who do not wish to carry out higher physiological demands with a non-invasive and low risk procedure.

Palabras clave : Exercise Test; Obesity; Oxygen Consumption.

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