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.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3a.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physical Therapy
Volume11
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1006-1039
Number of pages34
ISSN2159-2896
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

PMCID: PMC5159627
PMID: 27999717

ID: 170749601