Quantification of energy expenditure during gait in children affected by cerebral palsy

L. Piccinini, V. Cimolin, M. Galli, M. Berti, M. Crivellini, A. C. Turconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. Children affected by cerebral palsy (CP) are generally characterised by some movement limitations and abnormalities that compromised gait pattern. These disabilities during deambulation may lead to excessive energy cost and so to a compromised energy efficiency. Methods. In this study oxygen expenditure was evaluated during walking in 20 children affected by CP and in 20 healthy children, using Cosmed K4b2 (Cosmed, Italy). From obtained data about energy consumption, some parameters (heart rate, energy expenditure index, oxygen consumption, oxygen cost) were extracted, first in order to quantify energy cost during gait in pathological and healthy subjects and then to underline differences between the 2 groups of children. Results. In particular, the results obtained revealed that heart rate (bpm) and oxygen consumption (mL/kg/min) mean values didn't differ significantly between normal subjects and those with CP; instead, energy expenditure index (b/m) and oxygen cost (ML/kg/m) presented higher mean values rather than control group at a statistically level and so they revealed to be significant parameters, in order characterized energy expenditure in children affected by CP. Conclusion. This inefficiency characteristic of CP deambulation is probably directly connected to the presence of simultaneous contraction of agonist and antagonist muscle in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalEuropa Medicophysica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Child
  • Gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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