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The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of the ventilatory threshold using visual analysis (TVent) and a computerised v-slope method (TV - slope) with children. Twenty-two children completed 2 ramp incremental cycling tests to voluntary exhaustion. Oxygen uptake (V̇O2) at TVent was derived independently by two observers using plots of V̇E/V̇CO2, V̇E/V̇O2, PETO2 and PETCO2, V̇E and RER as a function of time. V̇O2 at TV - slope was determined by both observers using linear regression analysis of the plot of V̇CO2 against V̇O2. A TV – slope was determined for each test, although a TVent could not be found by one of the observers in 7 of the 44 tests. Inter-observer reliability was slightly better for TV - slope, and both methods had similar test-retest coefficients of repeatability (0.19 and 0.22 L • min−1, TVent and TV - slope, respectively). Although TV slope may be the method of choice, investigators should consider the 95% limits of agreement when interpreting their data.
The authors are with the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.