A simplified approach for the estimation of the ventilatory compensation point

Paolo Onorati, Dario Martolini, Gabriele Valli, Pierantonio Laveneziana, Paolo Marinelli, Elena Angelici, Paolo Palange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test with gas exchange measurement is the gold standard for the identification of the ventilatory compensation point (VCP). It has previously been demonstrated that the change in the slope of increment of minute ventilation over HR (ΔV̇E/ΔHR) can be used alternatively to the ventilatory equivalent for CO 2 (V̇E/V̇CO 2) method for detection of VCP in healthy subjects undergoing cycle ergometer (C) incremental exercise. The same evaluation during treadmill (T) incremental exercise and comparison between C and T have not yet been performed. Purpose: We analyzed, during both C and T incremental exercises, the V̇E/HR and the respiratory rate (RR)/HR relationships, expressed either as slope or as an absolute value. We hypothesized that changes in the slope of increment of the two relationships could represent a reliable method for VCP detection, regardless of exercise mode and protocol. Methods: Fourteen healthy male subjects (age = 31 ± 7 yr (mean ± SD)) underwent two T incremental exercises-fast (FT) and slow (ST) protocols (8 km•h, 2% (FT) and 1% (ST) grade per minute)-and one C incremental exercise (30 W•min). O 2 uptake (V̇O 2), V̇CO 2, V̇E, HR, and RR were measured breath by breath. Results: A good between-method agreement in the detection of VCP by the ΔV̇E/ΔV̇CO 2, ΔV̇E/ΔHR, and the ΔRR/ΔHR slope changes was found in both T protocols and C. No differences (C vs T and FT vs ST) were found in the slope of the ΔV̇E/ΔHR and ΔRR/ΔHR relationships after the VCP and in the V̇E/HR and RR/HR absolute values at VCP. Conclusions: In healthy young males, the ΔV̇E/ΔHR and ΔRR/ΔHR relationships during T and C incremental exercises can be reliably used to detect the VCP as an alternative to the ventilatory equivalent method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-724
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012



  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
  • exercise protocol
  • gas exchange
  • ventilatory compensation point

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Onorati, P., Martolini, D., Valli, G., Laveneziana, P., Marinelli, P., Angelici, E., & Palange, P. (2012). A simplified approach for the estimation of the ventilatory compensation point. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(4), 716-724. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e318237fb5f