Muscle Oxygen Saturation Breakpoints Reflect Ventilatory Thresholds in Both Cycling and Running.

Feldmann, Andri; Ammann, Linda; Gächter, Flurin; Zibung, Marc; Erlacher, Daniel (2022). Muscle Oxygen Saturation Breakpoints Reflect Ventilatory Thresholds in Both Cycling and Running. Journal of human kinetics, 83(1), pp. 87-97. Academy of Physical Education Katowice 10.2478/hukin-2022-0054

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Pulmonary gas exchange analysis was compared to changes in muscle oxygen saturation as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. First, ventilatory thresholds determined by common gas exchange analysis and breakpoints in muscle oxygen saturation were assessed for agreement during exercise with increasing intensity. Secondly, the relationship between muscle oxygen saturation as a surrogate for local oxygen extraction and peak oxygen uptake was assessed. In order to lend robustness to future NIRS testing on a broader scale, considering its potential for simple and cost-effective application, the question of a running versus a cycling modality was integrated into the design. Ten participants, of whom five were recreationally trained cyclists and five recreationally trained runners, were tested; each during a cycling test and a running test with increasing intensity to voluntary exhaustion. Muscle oxygen saturation and pulmonary gas exchange measurements were conducted. Bland-Altman analysis showed a moderate degree of agreement between both muscle oxygen saturation breakpoint 1 and muscle oxygen saturation breakpoint 2 and corresponding ventilatory threshold 1 and ventilatory threshold 2, for both cycling and running disciplines; generally speaking, muscle oxygen saturation breakpoints underestimated ventilatory thresholds. Additionally, a strong relationship could be seen between peak oxygen uptake and the minimally attained muscle oxygen saturation during cycling exercise. Muscle oxygen saturation measured using NIRS was determined to be a suitable method to assess ventilatory thresholds by finding breakpoints in muscle oxygen saturation, and muscle oxygen saturation minimum was linked to peak oxygen uptake.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)

UniBE Contributor:

Feldmann, Andri Matthias, Zibung, Marc Raphael, Erlacher, Daniel


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Academy of Physical Education Katowice




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2022 08:30

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

NIRS anaerobic threshold lactate threshold tissue oxygen saturation




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