The interchangeability analysis has been recently proposed to objectively assess whether a newly developed measurement tool can substitute the older ones; this analysis assumes that the measures yielded by the compared tools should differ less than a maximum acceptable value. We aimed to assess the interchangeability rate (IR) of the breath-by-breath O uptake data calculated with the “Independent breath” (IND) and the “Expiration-only” (EXP) algorithms.
Oxygen, carbon dioxide fractions, and ventilatory flow were recorded continuously over 26 min in 18 asthmatic and 20 well-matched healthy volunteers at rest, during cycling, and recovery; oxygen uptake (V’O) was calculated with the two algorithms under comparison. Coefficients of variation (CVs) of all the steady-state condition were modeled as a function of the average V’O values and IR was calculated accordingly.
CVs were significantly greater in the asthmatic volunteers (F = 5.97, p < 0.05), being lower for IND compared to EXP (F > 7.04, p < 0.02). CVs decreased as a function of the reciprocal of the square root of the average V'O. The IR, calculated on the basis of this relationship, was not significantly different in the two groups of volunteers (F = 0.77, p = 0.385); taking as reference method the IND, or EXP algorithms, the IR values were significantly different (F = 58.6, p < 0.001), amounting to 97.4 ± 2.2% or to 98.2 ± 1.7%, respectively.
The relative noise of V’O was greater in the asthmatic volunteers compared to the healthy ones and was lower for IND compared to EXP. The interchangeability analysis suggested that IND might be a better substitute for EXP than the opposite.