A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Comparing Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test Values Obtained From the Arm Cycle and the Leg Cycle Respectively in Healthy Adults

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Rasmus Tolstrup Larsen
  • Jan Christensen
  • Lars Hermann Tang
  • Camilla Keller
  • Patrick Doherty
  • Ann-Dorthe Zwisler
  • Rod S. Taylor
  • Henning Langberg

INTRODUCTION: The cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) assesses maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and is commonly performed on a leg cycle ergometer (LC). However, some individuals would rather perform the CPET on an arm cycle ergometer (AC).

OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of the difference in VO2max achieved by AC compared to LC in healthy adults and to explore factors that may be predictive of this difference.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PEDro were searched in April 2015. The differences in VO2max (ACLCdiff) were pooled across studies using random effects meta-analysis and three different methods were used to estimate the ratio between the values obtained from the tests (ACLCratio).

RESULTS: This paper included 41 studies with a total of 581 participants. The mean ACLCdiff across studies was 12.5 ml/kg/min and 0.89 l/min with a mean ACLCratio of 0.70. The ACLCdiff was lower in studies with higher mean age and lower aerobic capacity.

CONCLUSION: There is linear association between the AC and LC values in healthy adults. The AC values were on average 70% of the LC values. The magnitude of this difference appeared to be reduced in studies on older and less active populations.


Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1006-1039
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

PMCID: PMC5159627
PMID: 27999717

ID: 170749601