Document Type


Publication Date




The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of the Cosmed K5 portable metabolic system dynamic mixing chamber (MC) and breath-by-breath (BxB) modes against the criterion Douglas bag (DB) method.


Fifteen participants (mean age±SD, 30.6±7.4 yrs) had their metabolic variables measured at rest and during cycling at 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250W. During each stage, participants were connected to the first respiratory gas collection method (randomized) for the first four minutes to reach steady state, followed by 3-min (or 5-min for DB) collection periods for the resting condition, and 2-min collection periods for all cycling intensities. Collection periods for the second and third methods were preceded by a washout of 1–3 min. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to compare metabolic variables measured by each method, for seated rest and each cycling work rate.


For ventilation (VE) and oxygen uptake (VO2), the K5 MC and BxB modes were within 2.1 l/min (VE) and 0.08 l/min (VO2) of the DB (p≥0.05). Compared to DB values, carbon dioxide production (VCO2) was significantly underestimated by the K5 BxB mode at work rates ≥150W by 0.12–0.31 l/min (p<0.05). K5 MC and BxB respiratory exchange ratio values were significantly lower than DB at cycling work rates ≥100W by 0.03–0.08 (p<0.05).


Compared to the DB method, the K5 MC and BxB modes are acceptable for measuring VE and VO2 across a wide range of cycling intensities. Both K5 modes provided comparable values to each other.

Submission Type

Publisher's Version

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."