Assumed oxygen consumption (VO2) is increasingly used as a convenient surrogate for measured VO2 for calculation of cardiac output. This substitution is often based on empirical formulae, previously validated only in relatively young patients. To assess the inaccuracy introduced by extrapolating these formulae to older patients, we compared measured VO2 with assumed VO2 in 57 patients. VO2 was measured using an open circuit analyzer. Assumed VO2 was calculated according to the LaFarge or Bergstra formulae. Agreement between both methods was assessed according to the method of Bland and Altman. The mean difference of measured VO2 minus assumed VO2 was 7.9 ml/min/m2 (P < 0.02) using the LaFarge formula, and -15.6 ml/min/m2 (P < 0.0002) using the Bergstra formula across a range of measured VO2 from 70 to 176 ml/min/m2. A systematic error was introduced by assumed VO2 from both formulae of underestimating higher and overestimating lower values of VO2, resulting in poor overall agreement with measured VO2. The same error and poor agreement was found when analyzing subgroups of patients > or =60 or <70 years of age. In summary, use of assumed VO2 introduces large, unpredictable errors in adult patients, suggesting requirement for measurement of VO2 when calculating cardiac output.
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View details for PubMedID 9554760